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Brainerd student gets perfect ACT score

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A Brainerd student earned a perfect score on his ACT test.

Clark Hickman, who will start his senior year at Brainerd High School, received a 36 on the June ACT.

It’s a rare achievement, officials say.

Nationally, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earn a perfect score. In 2012, that added up to 781 students of the 1.66 million who took it.

Brainerd school officials said they are not aware of any recent graduates who earned a perfect ACT score.

The ACT includes tests in English, math, 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.

Hickman has always been a good test taker, scoring the highest in the class since kindergarten, he said.

When it came to taking the ACT for the first time in June, Hickman meant to prepare for it, but ran out of time between baseball, basketball, soccer, a part-time job and spending time with family and friends.

During the ACT, Hickman said most of the questions were easy, except for a few tricky ones at the end of the math and science sections.

“It was a pretty average test,” he said.

After it was over, Hickman felt confident.

“I thought I did good,” he said. “I didn’t know I did 36 good.”

So when he got the letter in the mail saying he scored a perfect 36, Hickman was “shocked.”

He credits his BHS education and teachers, as well as his ability to stay calm under pressure and not be stressed.

JESSICA LARSEN may be reached at or 855-5859. Follow me on Twitter at