Tampa senior earns perfect ACT score

A Hillsborough County student got a perfect score on the ACT test, a feat not accomplished by many. 

Nikunj Borad is a senior at Wharton High School, and he studied a few hours every day over the summer before his test.

“I expected it because I did well on the SAT. I got a 1540, and I knew what I was capable of because I studied a lot during the summer. I did a couple of hours of practice each day,” Borad said.

On his second try, he scored 36, clearing the way to apply to any college he wants.

“I’m mainly looking at UF’s medical honors program. They have a really nice program there,” said Borad. “You can connect with a lot of other local hospitals, and you can get really good internships there.”

University of South Florida is also in the mix, where his older brother studies medicine.

“I mainly get the inspiration from my brother. He’s doing medical and he’s trying to become a cardio surgeon,” said Borad.

The Wharton senior’s achievement comes at a time when ACT representatives said less students are college ready. ACT released a report last week saying only 40 percent of graduates who took the test are prepared for college coursework, especially in math. It’s a 14-year-low.

Borad’s principal believes that doesn’t paint the whole picture.

“Most of our state schools, if you look at the minimum ACT and SAT scores, they’re just rising. So, that’s kind of a mixed bag,” said Michael Rowan, the principal at Wharton High School. “So, yes, we may be at a low according to ACT, but at the same time the standards are continuing to grow.”

The standards Borad set for himself were very high. He says he is proud to have set that goal and check it off. 

“The score’s not going to come towards you. You have to do something to get toward the score that you want,” Borad said. “There’s a lot of review books out there. You should just practice, just seek out the best review books.”

Rowan said Wharton High School offers help for the ACT if students are going to take that test. And as for college readiness, Rowan said educators encourage students to take tough classes to make sure they are prepared not matter what their score.