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LSHS’ Cohen earns perfect score on ACT exam

Sylvia Cohen loves to read. She co-founded a book club at Lake Stevens High School (LSHS). She has a passion for the environment and sustainability. She is the LSHS National Honor Society President. She tutors students at Skyline Elementary School and served as a LINK Crew leader to incoming sophomores. She also earned a perfect score on the ACT and a 1550 on the SAT—a nearly perfect score.

Earning a perfect composite score of 36 on the ACT is significant and very rare. According to the ACT National Office, on average, only around one-tenth of 1 percent of all test takers earn the top score. Among U.S. high school graduates in the Class of 2017, just 2,760 out of more than 2 million who took the ACT earned a composite score of 36.

Cohen first took the SAT, and then decided to also take the ACT after learning she could delete her scores if she wasn’t satisfied. She borrowed an ACT Prep Book from the Sno-Isle library system and completed several practice tests.

“After completing the ACT we were given a date range of when scores would be available online,” explained Cohen. “I was at the library downtown when I logged in and saw them. They actually came online about a week before the expected date so I wasn't 100 percent sure those were my real scores. Once I received the letter from the ACT National Office, I knew they were real and was very happy.”

Cohen is a Running Start student and takes Calculus, Spanish 4 and Political Science at Everett Community College. She also attends LSHS for UW English. She hopes to attend Stanford or the University of Washington to study environmental science and linguistics—although she’s not yet certain about her career path. She is also in the process of applying to other area universities.

Cohen is the daughter of Alan and Lisa Cohen of Lake Stevens. A very proud Mr. Cohen shared a glimpse into Sylvia’s childhood:

“When Sylvia had not quite reached her third birthday, she and I went to the supermarket,” he said. "I made a big deal about showing her the list of items I had written down saying, ‘Honey, some day when you are big girl you will be able to read this.’ When we got to the check out she said, ‘Daddy you forgot something.’ Now I knew Sylvia could not read. I told Sylvia, ‘I don't think so sweetie’—as I was sure that I had gotten all the items on my list. But Sylvia was insistent that I had forgotten something. So, I asked her—very skeptically—‘Okay honey, what did I miss?’ To which Sylvia replied, ‘I don't know Daddy, but there are nine things on that list and there are only eight in your basket.’ Sylvia was not yet three-years-old and she was already smarter than me.”


Sylvia Cohen