School is less than a week away, but Science Hill rising senior Yeleeya Li received some exciting information over the summer. Li joined the less than half percent of all ACT test-takers by earning a 36, a perfect score for the national standardized test for college admissions in the United States.
Li said that she was pleasantly surprised when she found out about the perfect score. She immediately snapped a picture of the letter to send to her parents.
“I thought that ACT went relatively well, but I was definitely not expecting a 36,” Li said.
Li, the daughter of Zhiwu Li and Ying Liu, said she has enjoyed her time at Science Hill High School and has been involved in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) since freshman year. Last school year Li placed first at the FBLA state competition for Advertising. She also enjoys her free time by volunteering at the Johnson City Medical Center.
Li has spent her summer researching colleges and is still evaluating her options, but she said she plans to major in biology. Her long-range goals included attending medical school and becoming a physician. The rising senior shared some other thoughts:
What did you do to prepare for the ACT? Any secrets to share about your success?
Standardized tests are designed for you to think in a certain way. The first thing I did was buy the Princeton Prep ACT book, which has an overview of the ACT and the strategies on how to approach different questions. Next, I took some practice tests, scored them, and reworked difficult problems. The science section was definitely a struggle for me, but I was able to see where I went wrong and how to improve. Though I haven’t discovered any groundbreaking secrets yet, I think taking breaks to reset yourself physically and mentally is really important.
How did Science Hill help you achieve your perfect ACT score?
I have received so much support from all my teachers and my friends at Science Hill. They’ve encouraged me to work hard but also to take a break when I need it. Specifically, I'd like to thank my math teachers for helping me build a strong foundation in math: Mrs. Glenda Conner, Mr. Mark Pickering, and Mr. Floyd Brown. My score on the ACT essay section was also because of my English teacher, Ms. Angela Taylor, who taught me how to dissect articles and write elaborations.
Any favorite teachers or memories from Science Hill?
I loved my junior year at Science Hill. One of my favorite classes was definitely Mr. John Morrell’s AP Chemistry class. The class initially overwhelmed me, but the friendly atmosphere and the chaos of doing labs never made learning boring. Needless to say, I enjoy chemistry a lot more now. I also enjoy going to FBLA competitions and speech and debate tournaments.