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Perfect ACT scores times two at Jacobs High

Jacobs High School students Ike Frankel (left) Chad Franzen earned perfect ACT scores.  September 5 2012 | Michael Smart~Sun-Times

Jacobs High School students Ike Frankel (left) and Chad Franzen earned perfect ACT scores. September 5, 2012 | Michael Smart~Sun-Times Media

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A genuine rarity

Number of students who take the ACT test (in 2011):


Number of students who earned a perfect 36 composite score:


Odds of getting that perfect score:

1 in 2,306

National average composite score:


Updated: October 7, 2012 8:05AM

ALGONQUIN — Chad Franzen, 17, of Algonquin was checking the ACT website daily, waiting for his scores to be posted, he said. ACT posts those scores online before it mails them to students, Chad said.

Ike Frankel, 16, of West Dundee was in the shower, he said. He last had checked the website for his scores a month before, and he asked his mom to check again.

These are “great moments in American history,” Jacobs High School Associate Principal Bo Vossell teased. They’re the moments both Chad and Ike, seniors at Jacobs, learned they had earned perfect scores on the ACT they’d taken last spring.

This is the second straight year two Jacobs students have earned a perfect 36 in each of the four sections on the exam. And those perfect scores don’t happen very often, according to Ben Churchill, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning for secondary schools in Community Unit School District 300 — maybe once or twice a year in the entire Carpentersville-area district.

No other District 300 student earned a 36 this year, Churchill said.

When Chad checked his score online this summer, he said, “I saw the 36, and I thought, ‘That can’t be right.’” He checked again, then he posted his score on Facebook.

‘Telling everyone’

When classes started last month, Chad said, “I was going around telling everyone.” Many students already had read about it on Facebook, or had heard about it from another student, he said. Ike was one of those students.

“Once everyone said he got a perfect score, I said, ‘I got one also,’” Ike said.

This was the second time both seniors had taken the exam; this time in June, they said. Both wanted to take the writing section, which wasn’t offered with the test in April at Jacobs, they said.

Chad had gotten a 34 the first time, scoring perfect in two of the four sections, though he knew from the two test preparation booklets and practice exams he had completed that he could reach a 35, he said. Ike had scored a 35 then, so a 36 the next time was “a logical jump,” he said.

“Getting the writing section in and getting the 1 point — that was a nice touch,” Ike said.

And they didn’t cheat off each other, Chad assured.

“We took it in different places. It would have to be quite coordinated,” he said.


Ike had taken the five-week ACT 36 test preparation course offered after school at Jacobs, he said, although Vossel noted for most students that 36 is just “wishful thinking.”

For Chad, he said, “I guess it’s just intuition. You’re going to get some questions that are tough no matter how much you study.”

In letters recognizing each student’s perfect score, 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.”

Neither Chad nor Ike have submitted applications yet to any schools because many also require them to take SAT subject tests, they said.

But Chad plans to apply to the University of Chicago, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of California at Berkeley — any school that has a good engineering program, he said. He wants to pursue a career in computer science, he said.

And Ike wants to take a shot at the Ivy League schools, particularly Harvard University, or maybe the University of Chicago or Northwestern University, closer to home. He wants to become a lawyer, he said.

Those letters from ACT were sent to Jacobs, where Vossel said, “I thought I got the same letter twice.”

“It’s really something, when you think about it, to have not missed a single question on the entire exam.”

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