Ruth Kaylyn Oliver, 16, a senior at Great Hearts Arete Prep in Gilbert, earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36.

On average, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earn a top score.

In a letter to Ruth recognizing this exceptional achievement, ACT Chief Executive Officer Marten Roorda stated, “Your achievement on the ACT is significant and rare. While test scores are just one of the multiple criteria that most colleges consider when making admission decisions, your exceptional ACT composite score should prove helpful as you pursue your education and career goals.”

For the class of 2016 in the United States, only 2,235 out of nearly 2.1 million graduates who took the ACT earned a composite score of 36.

“The Arete community is proud of Ruth and this truly amazing academic feat,” said Julia Gillingham, Headmaster at Great Hearts Arete Prep. “Ruth’s pursuits and wholehearted commitment in the classroom and in our school community helped shape her into the well-rounded student leader she is.”

ACT test scores are accepted by all major U.S. colleges. Exceptional scores of 36 provide colleges with evidence of student readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead.

“We are excited to see where Ruth’s continued hard work and dedication takes her in whatever field she may pursue,” Gillingham said.

The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science, each scored on a scale of 1-36.

A student’s composite score is the average of the four test scores.

“Ruth is an exceptional academic student. Currently she has a perfect GPA,” Gillingham said

“She is a mentor to new students, a peer tutor who works with underclassmen and is a three-sport athlete. She participates on Arete Prep’s swim, soccer and track and field teams. She hasn’t decided which colleges she will be submitting applications to, but she does have a keen interest in technology and the space program.”