Tyler Morris, a senior at Shelby County High School, has earned the highest possible ACT Composite score of 36. He also earned a perfect 12 on the optional ACT Writing Test, which is given separately and doesn’t factor into the ACT composite score.
Morris, son of Scotty and Lisa Morris, is the second SCHS student to earn a 36 on the ACT in the past two years, joining Landon Bentley in accomplishing the rare feat. He is the 2018 Valedictorian of the 2018 senior class, a National Merit finalists, and competes on the Math and Varsity Scholars’ Bowl teams.
This is the fourth time that Morris took the ACT, steadily improving his score each year until he reached the perfect 36 he was trying to achieve. He made a 28 on the exam in ninth grade, a 30 in tenth grade, and a 34 in the eleventh grade.
Nationally, while the actual number of students earning the top score 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 2017, only 2,760 of more than 2.03 million students earned an ACT 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. 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.
In addition to his success on the ACT, Morris also aced all five of the Advanced Placement exams he took in May, earning the highest possible score of 5 on each of them. Even more impressive is that Morris self-studied for the AP Human Geography exam, a course that isn’t even offered at his school. The other AP exams he took included AP Biology, AP English Language, AP Psychology, and AP United States History.
Morris, who is undecided still on which university he will attend, hopes to major in pre-med with an emphasis in biology and Spanish. He credits his success on the ACT to those rigorous AP courses and a supportive school community.
“I enjoy the process of learning,” Morris said. “All of the AP courses I have taken have been challenging, both in the coursework and in pushing me to think creatively. I also think the positive school environment at SCHS has really helped me. Everyone here really motivates me to succeed.”
“We are very proud of Tyler and his many accomplishments,” said Shelby County High School Principal Barbara Snyder, who agrees that much of the recent success of SCHS students on the ACT can be credited to the strong Advanced Placement program at the school.
The strength of the school’s AP instruction is shown in their exam scores, which outpace the state in several subject areas, including AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Computer Science Principles, AP US History, AP Government, and AP Art. Shelby County High also has the highest student mean scores in the district in AP Biology, AP Computer Science Principles, and AP US History, which is the third highest in the state.
“The honors and AP programs at SCHS have grown tremendously over the past decade. The students who enter the program and work diligently are seeing benefits while at SCHS and in their academic pursuits on college campuses,” said Synder.