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Rockwood School District
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Trio of Marquette Students Score 36 on the ACT

​Marquette High juniors Driptaa Chakraborty, Ben Cook and Jennifer Liu all recently scored ​a 36 on the ACT.

Of the nearly 1.7 million students in the Class of 2020 who took the ACT, only one-third of 1 percent earned a 36, the top composite score. The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science, each scored on a scale of ​1-36. A student's composite score is the average of the four test scores.

Chakra​borty took the test in February, and Cook and Liu took it during Rockwood's districtwide free ACT testing opportunity for juni​ors March 16. Here is some more information about these outstanding students and their accomplishments!

Driptaa Chakraborty
Chakraborty went into her Feb. 6 ACT testing opportunity thinking that it would be a good benchmark to see where she could improve before the districtwide test March 16.

It turned out that her benchmark was a perfect score.​

"My parents and friends were very happy because there is something about a perfect score that is just exciting to hear about," Chakraborty said. "I was more surprised to get a 36 than my friends were. A lot of them were like, ‘Oh yeah, we knew you could do it,’ which was nice to hear."

Chakraborty is an avid artist and hopes to pair her love for painting and drawing with her love for math and science when she moves on to college.

She is not yet sure where she would like to go to school, but she is hopeful that her ACT score will help open more possibilities.

"It does definitely increase the scope of the universities I can apply to,"​ Chakraborty said. "I'm trying to explore majors that have an intersection between my interests: architecture, engineering, things like that where I can kind of design but also use my math and science knowledge."

Ben Cook
Memorizing information has never held much of an appeal for Cook, so he took a project-based, solution-oriented approach to preparing for his ACTs.

"The ACT provides all the information you need in the question they give you. All you need to bring is the methods of how to solve problems and some background knowledge," Cook said. "That’s what they’re interested in. Can you take new information, apply background information using problem-solving methods and give an answer? I think it’s in people’s best interest to, at a young age, be cur​ious and learn."

Cook's innate curiosity has ​led him down many different avenues, which include playing drums, participating on the Mustangs' tennis team and being one of the founders of the Astral Orbit rocketry team at Marquette. ​

He hopes to pursue a degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering in college, with a possible minor in business or coding.

"I think getting a 36 has changed my attitude of where I want to go," Cook said. "I'm trying to balance applying to prestigious universities while also making sure I don’t go into big college debt."

Jennifer Liu
A virtual student, Liu found out that her ACT scores were ready thanks to a notification on her phone. So she called her mother and her sister, Marquette sophomore Joyce, into her room so they could look over her shoulder as she pulled up her scores on the computer.

Perfect 36s on all four components.

"I just screamed," Liu said. "I saw the composite score first, the 36, I think my mom and sister were screaming, too. I saw the rest of my scores, and each 36, my scream got louder each time. It was amazing.”​

She shared the news on Snapchat with some of her closest friends and, by the end of the day, one of them had dropped off a congratulatory cake and card at her house.

Liu participates in activities such as Technology Club, Student Council and National Honor Society at Marquette, along with tutoring elementary school students and fellow high school students who are in AP classes. She is a competitive pia​no player and is a varsity field hockey and lacrosse player for the Mustangs. She and her sister were recently honored by U.S. Lacrosse for founding QuaranTeen Pals, a nonprofit organization that connects teens with seniors through handwritten letters.

"I have been thinking of going into computer science or, if not, something in the STEM field," Liu said. "My ACT score will definitely help me be able to look into those top schools and maybe apply for them. I think it’s just one part of the puzzle that can help me get there."