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10 Irvine high school students earn perfect ACT scores

Less than 0.1% of all students who take the ACT earn a perfect score, but that’s exactly what 10 students at an Irvine high school managed this school year.

University High’s Jessica Huang, Krystal Lai, James Liao, Andrew Ma, Jiho Park, Neel Sabnis, James and William Xue, Alex Zivkovic and Jessica Zou all scored a 36 on the college entrance exam during the 2011-12 school year, ACT spokesman Ed Colby said.

He said the test is curriculum-based and measures what a student has learned in the classroom. He called the 10 perfect scores “a very strong achievement” by  the school and its teachers.

University High Principal John Pehrson said the school sees “two or three” students get perfect scores on the SAT or ACT each year. Ten, he acknowledged, was an anomaly.

“The kids here are just very focused on education,”  Pehrson said. “The families, Irvine in general, just kind of has that in the culture. They take things pretty seriously.”

James and William Xue are twins, Pehrson said while thumbing through records.

The school will honor its 10 ace test takers Friday at the school’s end-of-year awards ceremony.


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-- Matt Stevens

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