SM East senior Akshay Dinakar earns perfect score on ACT

Akshay Dinikar
Akshay Dinakar

Among students set to graduate in the class of 2015, fully 1,850,000 took the ACT.

Of those, just 1,407 — less than one-tenth of 1 percent of all ACT test takers across the country — received a perfect composite score.

One of those elite students is a SM East senior. Akshay Dinakar recently found out that he was one of the select few to have nailed a perfect 36.

Dinakar and his family recently received a letter from the CEO of the ACT Board congratulating him on the accomplishment, but Akshay found out about his score a few weeks ago when he checked test results online.

“I was at work and got a call on my cell phone,” said his mother Chitra, a physician at Children’s Mercy Hospitals. “He was totally breathless, and I was worried that something bad had happened. Then he said, ‘Mom! I got a perfect ACT score!’ I pretty much felt like I was flying on the way home.”

Chitra said Akshay is exploring a variety of college options. He’s looking at the University of Kansas, but also a number of schools on the East Coast and a few on the West Coast. He’s still not sure what he wants to major in, and is weighing his interests in architecture, economics and business.

As for test prep, Akshay took a few sample exams, but didn’t take any prep courses.

“He’s done pretty well on tests in the past,” she said. “It was just a matter of going through a few practice tests. He felt pretty excited that he might have done well right after he took the ACT.”

This isn’t the first time PVPost readers have heard of Akshay. As a sophomore, he was invited to play violin with the National Youth Orchestra, which toured to Russia and England. Just this past summer, he organized a performance of original music with his brother Bhavish in support of his violin teacher’s wife, who is suffering from Parkinson’s disease. And just last month, Akshay was announced as a National Merit Semifinalist.