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Harpeth senior scores perfect ACT score

 Harpeth High School senior Stephen Jacobs scored a 36 on the ACT college readiness test. Earlier this year, he was named a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program.
Harpeth High School senior Stephen Jacobs scored a 36 on the ACT college readiness test. Earlier this year, he was named a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

A senior at Harpeth High School has achieved a rare feat — acing the ACT college readiness test.

Stephen Jacobs got a 36 — a perfect score — on the test he took in early October.

Jacobs was at home when he learned of his accomplishment.

“My mom brought in the mail, and there was a letter from ACT. I opened it, and it said congratulations on getting a perfect score. I was excited,” he recalled.

Jacobs is the son of Bill and Donna Jacobs of Pegram.

Donna is a school psychologist at Kingston Springs Elementary School and Harpeth High School.

According to the ACT, about 2,760 out of 2 million students who take the test nationwide attain a perfect score. That equates to roughly one-tenth of 1 percent of test-takers.

This was the fourth time Jacobs took the ACT, and his score improved each time.

As a seventh-grader, he made a 29. As a sophomore, he scored a 34. As a junior, he came close with a 35.

“The ultimate goal was to make a 36,” he said.

Jacobs said he’s appreciative of the many well wishes he’s received from his teachers and classmates.

He’s always glad to help when other students ask him for advice in the classroom.

And he often shares tips with his classmates on how they can succeed on the ACT.

“I tell them to not sell yourself short. Don’t set goal of 25 or 34 as you always want to score as high as you can – set your goals high,” he said.

Earlier this year, Jacobs was one of three Harpeth students who were named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

When asked how he stays focused to achieve academic success, he said, “I am naturally driven to do my best.”

Jacobs plans to major in aerospace engineering and possibly attend West Virginia University.

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