Another perfect ACT score for another SM East cellist: Kevin Xu aces college entrance exam

Kevin Xu scored a perfect 36 on his ACT.
Kevin Xu scored a perfect 36 on his ACT.

Parents: Sign your children up to play the cello immediately.

Because not one, but two SM East cellists netted perfect scores on the ACT this year

We told you about senior Rob Simpson’s feat before Thanksgiving. Turns out Simpson’s SM East orchestra peer Kevin Xu notched a 36 on the test when he took it in mid-October as well.

Xu said he studied fairly intensely in the two weeks prior to the test, taking five practice exams. But his nerves were high the day of the actual test.

“I was pretty nervous, actually, because I was pressed for time on some of the sections,” he said. “I was hoping to do pretty well, but I didn’t think I’d get a 36.”

Xu is very involved in the Advanced Placement program at SM East, having taken AP biology, English and government. Xu has applied early admission to Princeton, and is hoping to study engineering in college. He is also applying to the University of Illinois and the honors college at the University of Kansas.

Xu actually missed a question or two on the reading section, where he got a section score of 35 — but his perfect scores in English, science and math brought his composite up to 36.

Only around 600 students per year of the 1.5 million or so who take the test score a perfect 36. Let’s throw some additional context in here: There are approximately 27,000 high schools in the United States. With just 600 or so perfect ACT scores in the country, the odds of having two 36s come out of the same school are…are…I have no idea.

We should probably ask Rob Simpson or Kevin Xu.