Four Edmond Memorial High School students have earned perfect scores on the ACT College Entrance Exam. The achievement puts juniors Oliver Wu, Will Hartman, Kevin Zhang and senior Cade Christison in the top one-tenth of one percent of all students who take the exam each year.

“A perfect ACT score is one of the most exceptional accomplishments a student can achieve. It will open college admission and scholarship doors to our nation’s most prestigious universities,” said Debbie Bendick, associate superintendent of secondary education for Edmond Public Schools.

Hartman was surprised by his perfect score because it was his first time taking the test. He was in class in early May when he learned about it. “I logged on to check my score and didn’t believe it. I logged out and logged back in to double check thinking there had been a mistake…I was really excited,” he said.

EMHs juniors Will Hartman and Kevin Zhang stand in front of the EMHs bulldog mascot m
EMHS juniors Will Hartman and Kevin Zhang

Zhang had a “bad feeling” after taking the test and so he assumed he did not do his best.  “Getting a 36 completely blew my expectations out of the water,” he said. “I am extremely

grateful and lucky that I was able to receive the golden number.” Zhang plans to pursue mechanical engineering in college and is hoping to attend Georgia Tech, University of Michigan, or Carnegie Mellon for his post-secondary education.

Christison, an avid hunter and outdoorsman, had already made a 35 on the test early in his senior year but decided to brave ice-covered roads during a winter storm to take the test one last time.

EMHS senior Cade Christison poses in his graduation cap and gown
Recent EMHS graduate Cade Christison

“That’s just Cade,” laughed his mother Teresa.  “He just loves to learn, and he has had some really quality teachers at Edmond Memorial, who — together with his Advanced Placement classes — were able to give him what he needed,”  she noted. Cade will attend Oklahoma State University on a full scholarship and plans to major in Aerospace Engineering.

Oliver Wu had also posted a near-perfect 35 on the test but decided that one more time might be the charm.  

“I was one point short so I just wanted to try for it,” said Wu, who participates in Youth and Government, Asian Club, German Club, and serves as captain of the Edmond Memorial Academic Team.

All four students credit Advanced Placement Classes for better preparing them for the test.   “My Advanced Placement courses challenged me, and it was because of these challenging courses that I was able to succeed on the ACT,” noted Hartman.

EMHS junior Oliver Wu stands in the cafeteria
EMHS Junior Oliver Wu

The ACT is a curriculum-based test scored on a scale of 0-36. It is designed to measure the skills needed for success in first-year college coursework. The four individual areas that comprise the test are math, English, reading and science reasoning.