Perfect performance

Carmel student aces the ACT


Megan Brinkman, Highlights Editor

One calculator. Two number two pencils. A bottle of water. And a brain prepared for the big 36.

After taking only two practice tests, junior Sammy Dickmann received the highest possible score on the ACT. This result was not only an academic success, but a personal victory, beating the scores on both of her practice exams by multiple points.

News of her performance flooded local papers and school TVs, leading to waves of ‘Congratulations’ and ‘How’d you do it?’ Though many students would celebrate this perfect number on the page, the impact of her accomplishment took a while for Dickmann to appreciate.

“It was one of those things where you don’t want to check your score,” Dickmann said. “All of a sudden it said 36. And I double-checked, like did I really get it?”

Many colleges look at the ACT as the first part of admitting a student and a perfect score relieves much of the pressure. Brian Hendricks, Carmel’s college resource counselor, said that colleges love a 36, which makes a strong impact on the admittance process.

“A perfect score obviously looks great on applications,” Hendricks said. “It can be a great help with scholarships as well.”

Even with her initial disbelief, Dickmann said she knows how this score affects her life beyond Carmel.  

“It’s nice to know that I’m done with the ACT. And I don’t have to worry about taking it again,” Dickmann said.

Though Dickmann’s battle with the test is over, she continues to help others through the process. Dickmann said she has helped tutor classmates in the math section, one of her strongest areas, as well as with normal classes. Hendricks also said how important it is to not only focus on the test, but maintaining schoolwork.

“If you have a high GPA and a 36 on the ACT colleges will love it because they match up,” Hendricks said.