North Students Best the Tests

Ryan Robbins drives his own learning. He thinks that’s part of the reason he earned his perfect PSAT, ACT, and SAT scores.

Sometimes he even pushes himself beyond what’s expected of him in the classroom.

“Sometimes I’ll try to learn a little bit more about the subject that we’re doing in class,” said Robbins. “But a lot of times I will be just focusing on the teacher’s lesson. But if it’s something I’ve already learned or picked up, I’ll research something different about it.”

But Robbins does more than just studying. He also runs cross country, plays trumpet in the jazz ensemble, and volunteers at a tutor-organization and loaves and fishes.

“I mean, you can’t just be doing one thing. You’ve got to keep your mind busy,” said Robbins. “So I think it’s important for me to do a wide array of activities just so that I don’t get too stuck on doing one thing over and over again. And don’t get bored, basically. It just helps keep my life interesting I guess.”

Of the more than two million students who took the ACT in 2017, less than three thousand scored a top score of 36.

Less than one-tenth of a percent of test-takers achieve a perfect score on the SAT.

But just across the AP Calculus classroom, Richard Li also achieved perfection.

Shortly after helping Naperville North to a championship in the Illinois State Math Competition, Li heard back he’d also scored flawless marks on the ACT and SAT.

Similar to Robbins, Li pushes himself to succeed both in and out of the classroom, even if it means a big courseload.

“This semester, I’m taking five AP classes, which is a big, big mistake on my part. It’s stressing me out!” said Li.

Luckily, Li has a strong support system at home.

His parents said they were thrilled when they heard about his achievements, but even more so for his willingness to help others earn similar success.

“He’s a very nice kid and whenever someone asks for help, he always helps people,” said Richard’s father John Li. “Yeah, we are so proud. Very, very proud.”

Richard usually scores well on exams, but this one was a surprise, even to him.

“I just never expected to get a perfect on both!”

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.

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