Liberty High School graduate Nawal Cheema has earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36. Nationally, while the actual number of students earning the top score varies from year to year, on average, only around two-tenths of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earn a 36. Among test takers in the U.S. high school graduating class of 2018, only 3,741 of more than 1.9 million students earned an ACT composite score of 36.
“Getting a 36 gave me a newfound belief in myself and my abilities and I hope I can use it to help me in the future,” said Cheema. “I hope to get into an Ivy League school here in the United States, while at the same time applying abroad for medical school in Pakistan.”
The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. Each test is scored on a scale of 1-36, and a student’s composite score is the average of the four test scores. The score for ACT’s optional writing test is reported separately and is not included within the ACT composite score.
In a letter from ACT chief executive officer Marten Roorda recognizing this exceptional achievement, the CEO stated, “Your achievement on the ACT is significant and rare. Your exceptional scores will provide any college or university with ample evidence of your readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead.”
Cheema graduated a year early with the Class of 2019, graduating summa cum laude. She finished high school with a 4.545 GPA, and was ranked second in her class. Cheema took four Advanced Placement (AP) courses last year and was recognized as an AP Scholar with Distinction. She earned dual credit through UMSL, completed three PLTW Biomedical Science courses, and is eligible to earn college credit for those courses as well. She was a member of NHS, HOSA, LINK Crew, FCCLA, Debate Club, and was a three-year member of the tennis team. Cheema plans to major in either computer science or biochemistry.