Newsome High School senior Cody Basquill got a perfect score on the ACT, a college readiness examination.

A test score of 36 might not sound very impressive, but if the exam is the American College Testing Exam (ACT), it’s a perfect score. Less than half of 1 percent of test takers each year, approximately 5,500 students, attain the perfect score.

Newsome High School senior Cody Basquill earned the coveted 36 composite score in February on his first attempt.

The ACT is a two-hour and 55-minute, multiple-choice exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. It consists of four sections: reading, English, math and science. Each section of the ACT is scored on a 1 to 36 point scale. The composite ACT score is the average of the four sections, also on a scale from 1 to 36.

He was in his fourth period AP U.S. History class a few weeks after taking the test when a friend who sat behind him told him scores were available.

“We both went online to check our scores and it took a while because the Wi-Fi is so slow,” he said. “When we finally saw our scores, she was mad because she didn’t score as well as me.”
Basquill scored a 36 on all sections except math, where he scored a 35.

Good news travels fast in the modern-day high school thanks to technology. His school counselor sent him a note saying she was proud of him.

“The word got out quickly and by fifth period lots of students were congratulating me,” he said. “I was really not expecting to get that good of a score.”

He was also named one of three Sunshine State Scholars in Hillsborough County, which provided him the opportunity to travel to Orlando for a two-day program designed to bring together scholars from around the state, connect them with employers that specialize in the STEM fields and create a networking opportunity between scholars and schools from Florida’s College and State University System.

Basquill said his plans for his senior year include continuing a rigorous academic schedule as well as participating in other enriching social activities. He will be applying to college in the fall, including his top choices: Duke University and the United States Air Force Academy.

“I plan to keep challenging myself,” he said.

For more information about the ACT or to register for an upcoming test date visit

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MIchelle Caceres has been writing for the Osprey Observer for seventeen years. She enjoys writing human interest pieces about inspiring members of the community who are working to better our community. She lives in FishHawk Ranch with her husband and recently became an empty-nester. When not writing, Michelle is serving her church community, reading and enjoying Florida's weather.