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Central Hardin junior earns ACT perfection

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Abby Hinkson in rare company

By Kelly Cantrall

When it comes to the ACT, Abby Hinkson is pure perfection.

Hinkson, a junior at Central Hardin High School, scored a perfect 36 on the ACT, a feat accomplished by fewer than 800 students across the country in the graduating class of 2012.

Hinkson took the test in March, when every junior in Kentucky is mandated to take the exam as part of state assessments. She didn’t prepare for it, she said, aside from taking the EXPLORE and PLAN, which are versions of the ACT intended for eighth-grade students and high school sophomores.

She earned a perfect score on the EXPLORE and was a point away from perfection on the PLAN, so she felt confident about the ACT. But she had doubts about her performance after taking the test.

“I didn’t think it had gone as well as I would have liked,” she said.

Her main goal, she said, was to get a 35 in order to top a friend who earned a 34. When the results came in the mail, she was too nervous to face her score.

“For 10 minutes I didn’t even look at it, I didn’t even want to know,” she said.

Of the 1.7 million high school graduates in 2012, 781 received a perfect score. But despite the rarity of receiving a flawless score, Hinkson said she thinks about the hundreds of students who accomplished the same thing she did.

A perfect score likely will earn her considerable scholarship money, which Hinkson said is a “big relief.”

Hinkson plans to attend Vanderbilt University to study English and math. She would like to teach the subjects at the high school level.

“I love math and English and I love helping people understand it better,” she said.

Elizabethtown High School graduate Rebecca Hinkle earned a perfect score on the ACT in 2011.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.