Three in Leander do unthinkable, ace ACT test

LEANDER (KXAN) – The odds of a perfect score on the ACT are infinitesimal, but in the Leander school district, not one, not two but three seniors wracked up the “perfect ace”.

With high school ready to start up Monday a lot of juniors and seniors are already sweating their SAT and ACT tests, one of the keys to getting into the university of their dreams.

Emily Tallman sings in the award winning Vandegrift High choir. Brendan Hollaway sings too. At Cedar Park High Travis Schwartz plays sax in the marching band. Between them they are perfect, not that they expected those perfect scores.

Emily says, “I though it was pretty hard, I didn’t expect this. We opened the letter at 11pm, so I freaked out and woke up my mom, pretty excited.”

Travis concedes, “The test was tough, really tough. The time limit on it really makes you focus the entire time, and answer every question really quickly and move on.”

Brendan adds, “My parents were actually the ones who opened the letter, they came over and said look at this, look at this. I thought you’re kidding me, this is awesome.”

1.8-million students take the ACT every year. One-tenth of one percent will ace it. Neither Emily, Travis or Brendan had any tutors. They all took demanding school courses, studied hard and looked over test preps. Now their sights are on the next level of achievement and they know the competition will be fierce.

Travis says, “In addition to other achievements and awards, this will make me look pretty good to colleges, which is always great.”

Brendan smiles, “I think this is definitely going to help a lot, I really want to go to MIT and they are going to love seeing this.”

Emily acknowledges the competition, “My whole friend group is pretty smart so we kid around but also try to beat each other.”

Emily, Brendan and Travis all have challenging extra-curriculars, they began reading at early ages, got involved in music, have on sibling each and are considering schools like Stanford and MIT, with careers in mathematics and computer science.

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