Vivian Lundquist

Vivian Lundquist, 17, earned a perfect score of 36 on the ACT. She is a senior at Prior Lake High School.

Vivian Lundquist, a senior at Prior Lake High School, recently earned a perfect score on the ACT following her big sister, Izzy Lundquist, who also earned a perfect score in 2019.

According to the organization, the highest possible score on the standardized test is 36. The test is used for college admissions in the United States and covers four academic skill areas: English, mathematics, reading and scientific reasoning.

The Prior Lake American sat down with the accomplished student and her mother, Ruth Glaser, to discuss what it’s like being a part of a family of overachievers.

Did you expect to earn a perfect score?

Vivian: I never expected to get a perfect score, but I knew with the work that I put in studying for the test that I would do fairly well.

What was your reaction when you found out you earned a perfect score?

V: When I first saw that I got a perfect score I was completely shocked. I stared at the score for a few seconds and then immediately went to call my sister. I knew she would be so happy to hear I also got a perfect score.

Ruth, how does it feel having two daughters who earned a perfect score on the ACT?

Ruth: I’m in awe of them. They worked really hard to earn those scores, but I think they were both a bit surprised to do that well. I do feel bad for their younger brother though, because now the pressure’s on!

Has instilling education in your children always been important to you?

R: We’ve always treated education as a gift, an opportunity. I’ve urged them to make the most of this time to learn and cultivate knowledge, but never stressed scores or grades. In fact my oldest jokes that I didn’t know what any of her grades were in high school — she was putting effort into her studies and that’s what mattered to me. I love learning and am constantly reading and hope that has set an example for them.

Have your daughters always excelled in school?

R: Yes. They’ve had amazing educators in the Prior Lake school system. They attended SAGE Academy and took advantage of the many advanced classes offered in middle school and high school. Their teachers over the years have been very supportive and invested in their success — they’ve received a great education in Prior Lake.

How long did you prepare for the test, Vivian?

V: I had actually procrastinated preparing for the test until the week before, but during that week I spent about two hours every day studying.

Do you have any advice or tips for other students on how to get a perfect score?

V: For any students aiming for a perfection score, I would recommend getting an actual ACT prep book. That is what I used to prepare for the test, and I found that the authors explain everything you need to know. This includes content, strategies, structure of the test, etc. The few practice tests included also help tremendously with getting used to how the test will go.

What would you say to other students who have test anxiety and are about to take the ACT?

V: I find that the biggest way to reduce test anxiety is to prepare enough in the weeks before that you can take the few days prior to the test fully relaxing and not stressing.

What extracurricular activities do you participate in school?

V: I am on the high school’s track team, cross country team and speech team. Running is a huge way to reduce stress for me, so both cross country and track help me stay calm. Being on the speech team has also been incredibly helpful in improving my public speaking skills, which has been useful in and outside of school.

Ruth, how did you prepare your daughters for this journey?

R: They have different styles, but are both self-motivated. So, I did very little other than support their efforts, give them a credit card to purchase a prep book or online materials, and try to make sure they got enough sleep — but I wasn’t always successful with that last one.

What advice would you give other parents who are guiding their kids for a standardized test?

R: Standardized tests represent a moment in time, but the real value comes from learning every day. So, checking in with kids about what they’re studying in various classes and showing an interest helps them feel that education is important. Finally, there are tons of resources these days to prepare kids for tests — from TikTok videos to in-person prep courses. Your kids can check in with the guidance counselors for some resources that would be best suited for their needs.

Vivian, what are your plans after high school?

V: After high school I plan on heading to college to study biochemistry. I haven’t decided on any college yet, but thus far a big contender for me is the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

This interview has been lightly edited for style and clarity.