EBR student attains perfect ACT score; district average shows growth

Thursday, August 23, 2012 - 2:15pm

Mario Alegre, a senior at McKinley High School, can claim what only one in 3,330 students nationwide can -- a perfect score of 36 on last year’s American College Testing (ACT) exam.

Among test takers in the high school graduating class of 2011 nationwide, only 704 of more than 1.6 million students taking the test earned such a score. 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.

In addition, Alegre received perfect scores of 800 on the Math II and Physics SAT subject tests, as well as a near-perfect score of 790 on the Literature subject test. He also had the highest PSAT score in his school and received a maximum score of 5 on the English Language and Composition, Calculus BC, Physics C: Mechanics and Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism Advanced Placement tests. He received a Magna Cum Laude Award for his performance in the National Latin Exam.

With a cumulative GPA of 4.6 points and being ranked fourth in his class, Alegre has made his parents, Fernando Alegre and Juana Moreno, proud. The 17-year-old is a member of the National Honor Society (NHS) and the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS). He also participates in McKinley’s Beta Club, representing his school alone at the nationals in the 2011 Spanish competition. He is a member of the school’s Mu Alpha Theta math club, has taken courses in calculus as a dual enrollment student at Louisiana State University (LSU) during the school year and was employed as a student helper for LSU Math Circle, which is an enrichment program that teaches college and graduate level math to high school students from all over the country. In addition, over the summer he was enrolled in the Beowulf Boot Camp, offered by LSU’s Center for Computation & Technology. It teaches high school students the basics of supercomputing and programming in parallel.

With aggressive, proactive preparation, plus an emphasis on core subject matters, more than 1,500 East Baton Rouge Parish School System students took the college preparatory test in the spring of 2011.

According to figures released on Wednesday, August 22, East Baton Rouge Parish’s public schools’ average ACT score grew to 19.4 points, up from 19.2 points the previous year. The district showed improvement in all five subject areas measured – English, Mathematics, Reading, Science and Writing. The largest gains in the district occurred in Math, which grew by 0.4 points.

The ACT is a standardized achievement examination for college admissions in the United States produced by ACT, Inc. The ACT test has historically consisted of for tests: English, Math, Reading and Science reasoning. ACT is a curriculum-based measure of college readiness. In Louisiana, ACT scores are part of the determination for the Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS).

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