The first thing Ian Kinsel did after learning his ACT score was to walk across the street from his summer job and buy himself a smoothie. "I just felt like celebrating," the 17-year-old Carbondale resident said. "I was very, very excited, and I was very happy that I did as well as I did. When I found out, I cheered outside of the building where I was working, and I probably looked pretty crazy to the passers-by."
The Carbondale Community High School incoming senior is not really concerned about what he looked like, especially as it was over his ACT score of 36, a perfect score.
That was from his first attempt at taking the test. (He took the SAT exam last fall, earning a 1540 out of a possible 1600.)
Perfect ACT score in the bag, he's now turning attention to his final year at CCHS, where he's already started looking at colleges.
This past weekend, he toured his second choice, the University of Illinois. His first choice is Stanford University in California. He's interested in studying mechanical or structural engineering.
What advice can he give to others hoping to ace the ACT test? He said he didn't enroll in any ACT prep course, but did pick up the ACT study guide.
He suggests studying the guide and getting plenty of rest the night before the test.
"I think the book really helped me focus on the different concepts needed rather than all of the general knowledge I learned in school, because, obviously, some of it was not really applicable to the ACT, like derivatives and other things, and I need to focus on simpler math . . . and the same applied to principles of grammar and writing," he said.
He is is the ninth CCHS student since 1995 to earn a perfect ACT score, according to CCHS Principal Ryan Thomas.
"Carbondale Community High School is incredibly proud of Ian's accomplishment of scoring a perfect 36 on the ACT," Thomas said. "He is now one of a long line of CCHS students who have achieved this distinction. It is without question a testament to Ian's work ethic and academic diligence. It is also an acknowledgement of our dedicated faculty and staff in preparing him for this assessment."
His parents are Gary and Mary Kinsel, both chemistry professors at SIU. His younger sister Aubrey is entering her freshman year at CCHS.
He notes that a perfect ACT score doesn't mean that he didn't "miss" anyquestions. In fact, he said he missed four.
He said he doesn't have a lot of free time, having spent a lot of time with homework and preparing for the test. He enjoys reading and playing board games and cards. He plays classical piano and is also an Eagle Scout in Boy Scout Troop 7066.