Ryan Dunn, a senior at Bellevue High School, has proved perfection is indeed possible.
The young man scored a perfect 36 composite score on his ACT (American College Testing) exam of which he recently received the results of.
Scoring a full 36 is the rarest score of all—just 0.334 percent of all test takers out of the 1.9 million who take the test annually earn a perfect ACT score. Roughly three times more students earned the next-highest score of 35; however, this is still a very rare score that just 0.961 percent of test takers earned. The average ACT score in Iowa in 2019 was 21.
Dunn, who is the son of Angela and Don Rubel and James Dunn, explained his performance may have been a result of his surroundings at the time, as the ACT test was administered at the Off Shore Events Centre as a result of social distancing because of the still ongoing Covid-19 pandemic in late March of this year.
“I didn’t really prepare or study all that much,” said Dunn. “I give the credit to location at where we took the test – which was at the events center. I had a seat in the corner near the big garage door in the corner, which was open at the time, so I could look out over the river. I like to believe it was the view that did it.”
The ACT test, which is taken by all Bellevue juniors and seniors, hasn’t changed in any meaningful way since the late 1980s. Students armed with No. 2 pencils still get three to four anxious hours to answer multiple choice questions about math, English, science and reading that could help determine whether they get into their college of choice.
While still uncertain about what his future holds, Dunn is looking to attend the University of Iowa for physics after he graduates from high schol next spring.
“It’s just nice having the sureness that I will get into the college I choose,” said Dunn. “But I also try to rationalize that having a perfect score is not as big of a deal as others make it.”
Dunn, who has lived in Bellevue since he was a fourth-grader, said the education system here is good, but the biggest thing is that it is flexible.
“You have a lot of choice in terms of classes when you get to the high school level, as you can pretty much build your own curriculum,” said Dunn.
As well as going to school, where he enjoys science, physics and chemistry classes, Dunn is also employed as a part-time cashier at Hartig Drug in Bellevue.