Columbia student gets perfect score on ACT

Wednesday, September 10, 2008 | 7:31 p.m. CDT; updated 4:54 p.m. CDT, Thursday, September 11, 2008

COLUMBIA - Ask Benjamin Heider how he got a 36 on the June administration of the ACT, and his answer is simple: "I got lucky."

Heider, a senior at Christian Fellowship School, is one of eight Missouri students to earn the highest possible score on the June administration of the ACT, a national exam often used in college admissions.


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Heider said he found out about his achievement when he looked up his ACT scores online. He first told his parents, Curtis and Robin Heider of Columbia.

Robin Heider said she laughed about her son's preparation for the test.

"I wouldn't say he studied that much for it," she said.

Heider said he then told his friends.

"They probably weren't as surprised as me," he said. "They were impressed."

The ACT tests students on English, math, reading and science reasoning. The composite score is the average of the scores for each section.

Heider took the ACT last year and scored a composite 32. This year he scored a perfect 36 on the English and math sections and 35 on the reading and science sections.

Heider is Christian Fellowship's first student to get a 36 on the ACT.

"We've always known Benjamin was an outstanding student," said Scott Williams, Christian Fellowship principal.

Heider, who has attended Christian Fellowship since preschool, is an Eagle Scout and enjoys golf, soccer and music. He plays keyboard in his school's worship band and likes to read science fiction and Christian fiction books.

Heider said he plans to major in engineering but doesn't know where he wants to go to college; he just knows that he wants to "get out of town."



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