Highland News Leader

He got a perfect ACT score on his second try. For the SAT, he only needed one try.

It took two attempts to get a perfect score on his ACT. For his second, he only needed one.

Highland resident and Father McGivney Catholic High School student Aaron Boulanger scored a perfect score on his ACT on his second attempt. For the SAT, he only needed one try to get a perfect 1600.
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Highland resident and Father McGivney Catholic High School student Aaron Boulanger scored a perfect score on his ACT on his second attempt. For the SAT, he only needed one try to get a perfect 1600.

Last April as a junior at Father McGivney Catholic High School, Aaron Boulanger scored a perfect score on his second try at the ACT.

As a senior this school year, it took Boulanger just once try to ace the SAT.

“I was not expecting it,” said Boulanger, a Highland resident. “I knew I could, I didn’t think I would.”

After getting his perfect score on the ACT, Boulanger said he wanted to get ready to take on the Suite of Assessments Test. A big part of his prep, he said, was a website, Khan Academy, that reminded him three times a week to practice for a half an hour.

He said he followed that regiment for a month leading up to the test and the week before took two practice tests he said were close to perfect scores. After that, he was feeling confident but still unconvinced he would be able to pull the perfect 1600 score.

A month later he received the good news.

A member of nearly a dozen clubs and teams at Father McGivney, Boulanger said he’s constantly trying to diversify his studies and activities. He said it’s the best way to make sure he’s learning as much as possible.

Aaron Boulanger talks about his perfect composite score on the ACT. Boulanger is from Highland and is a junior at Father McGivney Catholic High School, which is located in Glen Carbon in Southern Illinois, near Belleville and St. Louis, MO.

He said he feels like he owes that much to his parents, Karen and Jon Boulanger. Living up to the “investment” they’ve made in him is a driving force.

“I want to live up to the investment they’ve put into me,” Boulanger said. “My mom always said what grades I get as long as I’m trying my best, but she’d know if I got anything lower than an A I wasn’t trying my best.”

Boulanger’s advice to other students taking the assessment tests to make sure they understand their “strengths and weaknesses and, most importantly, believe they can do well.”

“Believe that you can do it and make sure you can by preparing well ahead of time,” Boulanger said. “Know your self, know your limits, know your strengths, your weaknesses and practice.”

However, while he said he’s excited about the perfect scores, he wants others to know that the scores don’t define them. He said they should put more stock in their overall work, not just their test scores.

”Your future isn’t all about your test scores. Standardized test scores aren’t the best reflectors of a kid’s intelligence,” Boulanger said. “It doesn’t say anything about you. More focus should be put on how much somebody works at school, not a score they get through a couple of hours of testing.”

Before his perfect SAT score, Boulanger said he was looking at a few different schools like Saint Louis University, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Tulsa and some others. Now, he said he’s looking at schools he’s only previously dreamed about.

“It definitely gives me a little more confidence in the college application process,” he said. “I definitely had some (colleges) in mind, but after this, I decided to expand a bit and go for those more reach schools like Harvard and MIT.”

Boulanger said he plans on going into computer engineering or computer science. He said he also wants to minor in music, one of his biggest joys in life.

He hopes, one day, to play every instrument known to man.

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Kavahn Mansouri covers government accountability for the Belleville News-Democrat, holding officials and institutions accountable and tracking how taxpayer money is spent.

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