Troy senior earns perfect ACT score


TROY — Elizabeth Katwyk had one goal when taking the ACT test last spring.

“I just wanted to do my best,” said Katwyk, who will be a senior at Troy High School this fall.

As it turns out, she couldn’t possibly have done better, even if she wanted to.

Katwyk, the daughter of David and Karmen Katwyk – scored a 36 composite, the highest score possible on the ACT, a standardized test score used to help determine college admissions. Less than 1 percent of all students who take the test, which measures a student’s knowledge in English, reading, mathematics and science, record a 36.

Out of 1.35 million students who took the test last year, Katwyk was one of about 4,000 who recorded a perfect score.

“First I kind of Googled how to do well on the ACT, and then I read some things and got a book from the library,” she said. “And then I just took a few practice tests and prayed a lot.”

She also got some help from Troy High School math teacher Jacqui Lehmkuhl, who gives juniors in her pre-calculus classes ACT practice tests during the school year. Katwyk said that helped reduce any anxiety she may have had about the math portion of the test.

“Mrs. Lehmkuhl, who is my honors college credit pre-calc teacher, would give us an ACT every month and every week to work on, so that helped me become desensitized to the math test, so it wasn’t as scary,” Katwyk said.

Even though she felt prepared, Katwyk said taking the 4-hour test wasn’t exactly enjoyable.

“It was a really long test and I hated it,” she said. “The English was okay, the grammar portion. But the rest was just a toss up.”

So much so that Katwyk wasn’t sure how she had done on the test after she had completed it.

“I had no idea how I did,” she said. “I was hoping for the best, but ..”

In fact, when the results came, Katwyk was so unsure what her scores would be that she couldn’t bear to check them herself.

“I got an email saying my test results were in, so I made my mom open it and look at it,” she said. “She laughed. I ran and told my dad, my sister and my brother. Everyone was excited in my house, then everyone was just happy.”

With grades as impressive as her ACT score, Katwyk shouldn’t have much difficulty getting into her dream college after her Troy High School career ends next spring.

“My senior I’m just going to finish out all of my high school credits and finish out what I need to, and then for college I’m going to go Brigham Young University-Idaho to study architecture.”

As she looks toward her senior year and beyond, Katwyk hasn’t really spent much time contemplating the significance of a perfect score on her ACT test.

“I did my best, and I’m just happy that happened to be my best,” she said.

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