The Edmond Sun

January 26, 2013

Deer Creek sophomore scores perfect 36 on ACT

Patty Miller
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Soorajnath Boominathan, a sophomore at Deer Creek High School in the Deer Creek School District, earned a top composite score of 36 on a recent ACT test.

He is the son of Boominathan Balasubramaniyan and Mangayarkarassy Thiagarajan.

Although some students take the test more than once, Sooraj said it was his first time to take the test and he was taking it for practice.

He has been a student in the Deer Creek school district since the sixth grade and attended Angie Debo Elementary in Edmond before transferring to Deer Creek.

This year Sooraj is taking four Advanced Placement courses including AP European History, AP Chemistry, AP Physics and Calculus BC.

“I may take a math concurrent enrollment class next year, although I haven’t thought about it yet, but if I do the University of Central Oklahoma would probably be the place,” Sooraj said.

He has played the piano since second grade, is a member of the Academic Team and National Honor Society and is part of the Robotics Team.

Sooraj said when he was 4 years old he started attending a Kumon Learning Center where he attended after school classes until the eighth grade.

“I think my mindset, and my logical outlook on a lot of things helped me narrow down the answers,” Sooraj said. “I think doing math at a very young age helped me develop that logic.”

Sooraj said he used to read a lot — in whatever spare time he had he always had a book in his hand.

Sooraj said he spent the most time practicing for the writing test.

“You have to write a whole essay in 30 minutes,” Sooraj said.

He said taking practice tests helped him also.

“I took practice tests, bought a review book, and took eighth-grade and ninth-grade practice ACT tests,” Sooraj said. “I had a few doubts about my answers, but I didn’t think I did anything near perfect. I thought I would have more time on the Reading section.”

He said he first learned of his score when he found it on his laptop.

“I was wondering if it was really my score, but a few days later I got a letter saying I had made a 36,” Sooraj said. “I had dreams about making a 36, but I didn’t imagine it would become a reality.”

He said at first his parents could not believe he had made a 36, but he added they are really proud of what he has done.

His advice to students preparing to take the test is, “Take as many practice tests as possible so you don’t walk into the testing center without an idea of what to expect.”

He said taking challenging classes helped him when it came time to take the test, adding, “Math and science classes ease the test-taking process.”

“I think I have had Sooraj the last five years,” said Deer Creek High School Principal Tracy Skinner, who recently moved up from middle school. “It has been wonderful to have Sooraj as a student. He is a well-rounded gentleman, well spoken and with his rigorous curriculum, he still keeps a focus and is involved in other activities. He is amazing.”

Skinner said Sooraj’s communication skills and the way he interacts with teachers is amazing.

“He is very humble and able to keep a good focus in spite of the success he has had,” Skinner said.

Nationally, while the actual number of students earning a composite score of 36 varies from year to year, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earn a top score. Among test takers in the high school graduating class of 2012, only 781 of more than 1.66 million students earned a composite score of 36.

The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. Scoring for the optional writing test is reported separately and is not included within the ACT composite score.

In a letter recognizing this exceptional achievement, ACT CEO Jon Whitmore said, “While test scores are just one of the many criteria that most colleges consider when making admission decisions, your exceptional ACT composite score should prove helpful as you pursue your education and career goals.”