Hoover City Schools


Josh Taggart Latest in String of HCS ACT 36s back button

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17-Jan-14 (SPHS) – Many middle-schoolers would rest easy having made a 30 on the ACT exam on their first shot.  But not Spain Park High School junior Josh Taggart.  After scoring that 30 on his ACT as a Berry Middle School 8th grader, he decided to give it one more shot – and then another.

“I had a feeling I could go higher,” Taggart said.

Taggart, the middle of three children, took the test again in 9th grade – scoring a 31.  Still not complacent, he took the test again this past December, and just found out he scored a composite 36.

“My mom got the news at 1:00 a.m.  She came and woke me up – I thought it was a dream.  Then she started calling all our relatives – at 1:00 a.m.”

What’s the difference between a 31 in 9th grade and a 36 in 11th grade?  A lot – according to Taggart.  He says he wanted to give the ACT one more shot because he knew in 11th grade, he would have learned most of the concepts/objectives tested on the exam.  That conjecture landed him those critical, five additional points.

“We are challenged at this school (Spain Park High School) and that’s a good thing,” Taggart said.  “I don’t want a high school you can just breeze through.”

Taggart takes numerous Advanced Placement (AP) courses and is a member of several honor societies and school academic teams.  He’s also a striker for the Spain Park High School soccer team.   

Josh Taggart is the latest in a string of 36s across Hoover City Schools.  Hoover High School senior Sunny Thodupunuri scored a 36 on his ACT this year.  Also, a set of twins at Spain Park scored 36s on the ACT exam in 2013.

Nationally, while the actual number of students earning a composite score of 36 varies from year to year, on average, less than one-tenth of one percent of students who take the ACT earns the top score. Among test takers in the high school graduating class of 2013, only 1,162 of 1.8 million students earned a composite score of 36.

The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. Each test is scored on a scale of 1-36, and a student's composite score is the average of the four test scores. Some students also take ACT’s optional Writing Test, but the score for that test is reported separately and is not included within the ACT composite score.

See more on the ACT at http://www.act.org

-Jason Gaston/Hoover City Schools

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