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Queens Chronicle

Flushing teen gets perfect ACT score

Townsend Harris High School student offers advice for future test-takers

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Posted: Thursday, August 8, 2019 10:30 am

Last year, more than 1.9 million students took the ACT, but just 3,741 got the coveted 36 out of 36. That's slightly under 0.2 percent. 

It is an elite club. And Townsend Harris High School senior Westar Zong, 17, is in it. The Flushing teen was notified that he scored a perfect 36 on the exam this year a few weeks ago.

Zong studied with the exam administrator’s free test prep service available for those who need financial aid. For the SAT, on which he got a stellar 1560, he used free online resources like Khan Academy.

The teen has some advice for others seeking to replicate his success.

“They should get a full night’s sleep, eat breakfast and make sure that they don’t overwhelm themselves the day before the test,” Zong said. Many go in half-asleep or distracted, he observed.

Cramming won’t cut it, he noted. Students aiming for a top score should prepare over a longer period of time. Getting a tutor can be very helpful, too, Zong said, and he urges students to take practice tests.

Now applying to colleges, the teen is considering studying business, science or medicine.

His many extracurriculars should seriously bolster his application.

Zong is on the Townsend Harris boys bowling and volleyball teams. He’s vice president of the school’s Junior Statesmen of America chapter and the public relations officer for its Young America’s Foundation branch.

The teen volunteers at Flushing Hospital Medical Center. And as a senior patrol leader in Boy Scout Troop 253, Zong is working on becoming an Eagle Scout. “Hopefully, I’ll make it by September,” he said, adding that being in the troop has taught him a lot about leadership.

Another activity area for the student is scientific research. He won third-place in the New York City Science and Engineering Fair for Animal Science in 2018, and this year is doing psychology research at Queens College.

As if he weren’t busy enough, Zong has been helping out middle and high school students with their ACT, SAT and Specialized High School Admission Test prep. He hasn’t charged for his services, but that may soon change: Zong is working on starting a tutoring business.

“I do have these great test scores and I might as well take advantage of it and see where I can go from there,” he said.

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1 comment:

  • Jake Lac posted at 5:53 pm on Thu, Aug 8, 2019.

    Jake Lac Posts: 1

    EXCELLENT JOBS! He deserves the best!