A Grand Island Senior High senior has accomplished the rare feat of earning a perfect score on the ACT.
Senior Jacob Kosmicki scored a 36 on the ACT test he took last spring. The test is a state requirement for all high school juniors. He said a perfect score was not necessarily something he “was shooting for” or something that he expected, but that it “was pretty cool” to get.
“Coming out of it, I thought, ‘Yeah, I think I made a few mistakes,’” Kosmicki said. “When you think you got a high score, you always think about it a little bit, but it was not something I was expecting at all. I remember opening it (results letter) and I was just in shock for a few seconds. I think I said, ‘I got a 36,’ or something like that. My parents were shocked and they were pretty excited, too.”
Kosmicki said this was not the first time he took the ACT, as he took the test his freshman and sophomore years. He said the John Baylor ACT prep offered through GISH helped prepare him for the test, specifically with the grammar portion of the test.
“I thought that was definitely helpful for general preparation. But I took a pressure-off approach to taking the ACT,” Kosmicki said. “I would study it regularly, but I was not pressing it down hours at a time. Going into it, I knew I had a pretty good score, so I just wanted to improve upon it.”
GISH Executive Principal Jeff Gilbertson said the John Baylor ACT prep has been in place at GISH for two years. He added it was good to hear the program helped Kosmicki to score a perfect score on the ACT.
Kosmicki said he did not have a particular strategy going into the ACT. However, on the science portion of the test, he said he did not read through the information prior to answering the questions.
“On the science section, I would go to the questions and reference back,” Kosmicki said. “That was the only real strategy I had.”
What advice would he offer to his fellow students to score well on the ACT?
“I would say the most important thing is to stay calm during the test,” Kosmicki said. “If you have a panic, freak-out moment, then you are not going to do well because it is going to stick with you and you are going to be thinking about it. So you just have to move on and stay calm.”
Gilbertson said the thing that impresses him the most about Kosmicki and his accomplishments is that “he is a really humble guy” with “a quiet confidence about him that you do not see very often.”
“Jacob is so business-like and low-key, but underneath all that, he has a powerful mind and heart,” he said.
Kosmicki said he applied to Northwestern University in hopes of being awarded the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation’s Bob Hamblet scholarship — a full-ride scholarship to Northwestern. If he is not awarded the scholarship, or accepted to Northwestern, he said he plans to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln after high school and “get a pretty good scholarship to go there.”
Kosmicki said he plans to major in either economics or finance in college.
“I have really enjoyed my high school classes in economics,” he said. “I started getting into the stock market in middle school and followed that and the economy pretty closely. It is just something that fascinates me.”
In addition to scoring a perfect score on the ACT, Kosmicki placed 11th in Class A at the boy’s state cross country meet last month. He said he plans to run in some capacity, but Northwestern does not have a cross country or track team, so he would only run competitively if he attends UNL.