Four HISD students ace ACT exam

Four Houston Independent School District students have earned a perfect score on the ACT college entrance exam.

The students – Edward “Ned” Swart of Lamar High School and Ishaan Chatterjee, Amrith Lotlikar, and Andrei Savitski of Carnegie Vanguard High School – were recently notified that they earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36. On average, less than 0.1 percent of students who take the ACT nationally earns the top score. The ACT is a college entrance exam that covers English, mathematics, reading, science and an optional writing test.

“I’m surprised but honored. All things that could go right did go right for me that day,” Swart said. “My parents are so excited. This means more scholarship money for me to go to school.”

Among ACT test takers in the high school graduating class of 2015, only 1,598 of more than 1.92 million students earned a score of 36. Exceptional scores of 36 provide colleges with evidence of student readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead, according to the ACT.

Swart says he prepared for the test by taking an ACT practice test the night before the exam and by also taking the SAT exam. He is enrolled in International Baccalaureate classes at Lamar and is a member of the school marching band and the National Honor Society. Upon graduation, Swart plans to study mechanical engineering at Texas A&M University.

“Ned is an outstanding student, but more importantly, he’s just a great human being,” said Lamar Principal Dr. James McSwain. “He’s been in the Lamar Band throughout high school and has always been the student who is dependable, caring, willing to help others, and mature. When I look at young people like him, I have great hope for our future. Contrary to what some may claim, students coming out of our schools today are better educated and more socially responsible than any generation before them and I think they will do a much better job of running the world than my generation. Ned Swart is a great example.”

Chatterjee,  Lotlikar and Savitski are enrolled in all Advanced Placement classes at Carnegie Vanguard.  Lotlikar is involved in UIL math competitions and has qualified for the state’s UIL mathematics and number sense competition later this month in Austin.

Both Chatterjee and Savitski are members of Academic WorldQuest, a flagship program of the World Affairs Councils of America that engages thousands of high school students in the U.S. to test their knowledge of global issues and foreign policy. They also have participated in numerous academic competitions that include Quiz Bowl and a national geography bee.

“I’m very proud of these three Carnegie Vanguard High School students for accomplishing something so rare as a perfect ACT score,” said Carnegie Vanguard Principal Ramon E. Moss. “I appreciate that these young men have remained diligent in all of their classes; and this is the icing on the cake.  A perfect ACT score is indicative that their academic strengths along with the skilled guidance of their parents and teachers are great measures of their future successes.”