Burnsville High School junior Will Trussell has earned quite the distinction for himself. He received a perfect score of 36 on the ACT exam, an accomplishment that less than 0.1 percent of students nationwide obtain.
The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement exam consisting of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. Each test is scored on a scale of 1-36. The composite score is the average of the four test scores.
What’s even more astonishing is that Will took the test just one time and didn’t really prepare for it.
“I figured I would take it and see how I did. If I didn’t do well, I knew I could always take it again,” he said. “After taking the test, I felt like I did well but had guessed on some questions. I thought I maybe got a 30 to 33 on it.”
When test results became available online, he had to reload the page three or four times before he believed the score. “I was in disbelief!” said Will. Since he was at school, he texted his mom to tell her the news. Will said, “She wanted me to call her right away, but I had to get to class!”
“Will is extremely motivated,” said Kristina Aars, American history teacher at Burnsville. “He is naturally, extremely intelligent, but he also works very hard. In AP/CIS American History, he completes the voluminous readings in advance, every time."
At Burnsville High School, Will is involved in quiz bowl and math league. He’s also in the marching band and theater pit band.
“Being on the Quiz Bowl team and involved in math league definitely helped with taking the test," he said. "I’m used to working under pressure and within time constraints while trying to remember theorems and formulas.”
Will joked at the notion that he has now set the bar high for his five younger brothers, which include a set of twins in ninth grade and a set of triplets in sixth grade at Metcalf Middle School. His parents are Patrick and Jeanne, who are Burnsville High School graduates with deep family roots in the Burnsville community.
Will eventually plans on applying to the University of Minnesota and is interested in studying engineering.