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CB West student earns perfect score in ACT


Only about two-tenths of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earn a top score, and one Central Bucks student has beaten the odds.

Anirudh Nangunoori, a junior at CB West High School, earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36.

Nangunoori was recognized for his achievement at the school board meeting on Oct. 15.

In the United States high school graduating class of 2018, only 3,741 out of more than 1.9 million graduates who took the ACT earned a top composite score of 36.

Talking about the perfect score, Anirudh (Ani) said, “I was just glad my effort paid off.” Ani explained that he prepared for the test by taking practice tests and using a book he took out of the library.

The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science, each scored on a scale of 1–36. A student’s composite score is the average of the four test scores. The score for ACT’s optional writing test is reported separately and is not included within the ACT composite score.

In a letter to Ani recognizing this exceptional achievement, ACT CEO Marten Roorda stated, “Your achievement on the ACT is significant and rare. Your exceptional scores will provide any college or university with ample evidence of your readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead.”

“It takes a little of the weight of college admission off, especially this early in the process,” Ani said.

The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement exam that measures what students have learned in school.

Ani participates in cross country, track and field, and science fair at CB West. When asked what he wants to study after graduation, “I’m gearing towards medicine, and certainly something in the sciences in undergrad.”

When his parents, Anu and DJ Nangunoori, found out about his performance, “They were pretty excited,” he said.

They later shared the good news with CB West Principal Tim Donovan by email, and DJ Nangunoori noted, “We are fortunate to live in such a great school district and I wanted to thank all of you for your commitment, hard-work, and guidance that you provide every single day to our children.”

“This achievement is not possible without your encouragement and inspiration to the students and continuous engagement with parents,” he added.

In other business, CBSD announced that 19 students were named semifinalists, and 46 students were named among the commended students in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

About 90 percent of semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title. While they will not advance in the competition, the 46 commended students also performed at a distinguished level in the competition.

“CBSD is proud of our students’ significant achievements in working toward this prestigious award,” said Superintendent John Kopicki. The recognition they have achieved brings honor to their school communities and to the entire Central Bucks School District.”

Central Bucks East Semifinalists:

Aditya Gunturi, Justin Hartwig, Dan Heinrichs, Liam Meyers, Simrin Ponamgi, Jillian Troth, Aaron Wang, Ling Xu, Adam Zortea; Commended Students: Ryan Ahearn, Alexandra Ballentine, Katelyn Beasley, Matthew Beatty, Nicholas Breen, McKenna Brophy, Janice Chen, Kyra Cunningham, John Cuozzo, Derek Deihl, John Duffy, Adam Hicks, Kelly Meinert, Rianna Rosenberg, Jacob Shawwa, Andrew Yang.

Central Bucks South Semifinalists:

Pranathi Birapuneni, Eric Leon, Tarang Tondapu, Srikar Yelamarthy; Commended Students: Bhargav Bulusu, Casey Chen , Louis Cheng, Nicolas Desandre, Abigail Jordan, Se Jin Kim , William Li, Kevin Lin, Alan Liu, Kammie Ping, Sheriff Popoola, Anusha Sindia, Miranda Song, Akaash Suresh, Isabella Swartz, Brandon Switzer, Sheena Zhang, Jacqueline Zhou.

Central Bucks West Semifinalists:

Claire Cao, Bret Hatzinger, Sakhi Naik, Abhi Nangunoori, Kanishk Nazareth, Francis Peng; Commended Students: Melody Chen, Rehan Devaravar, Alexander Galvin, Stella Garwood, Saikrishna Manojkumar, Alec Maraska, Marshall Miller, Nathan Nazareth, Owen Neal, Samantha Remmey, Hannah Wick, Anna Winters.