Barbe High Junior Earns Perfect ACT Score

March 2023

Holly Holland

“I beat my brother.”

It was one of the things Barbe High School junior Julia Jiang was most proud of after scoring a 36 on her ACT. Jiang achieved the perfect score in December in only her second attempt at the standardized test used for college admission.

“I wasn’t expecting to get a 36 to be honest,” said Jiang.

But others privy to her educational journey are less than surprised by her success.

“After 20 years of teaching high school, I’ve been blessed to teach many advanced students but I can honestly say that Julia’s drive and commitment to her academics is the strongest I have ever witnessed,” said one of Jiang’s former teachers, Rebecca White.

Jiang scored a 29 on her fist attempt at the ACT when she was only in 7th grade. As her test date approached this time around, she was better prepared for the challenge.

“I studied for two weeks before,” said Jiang. “Every day I did one section of English, one of reading, and one of science, because those are my weak spots.”

She seems to be her own toughest critic though, because other aren’t quick to find many weaknesses.

“Julia is a unique student that takes on every assignment as a task to be completed to the best of her ability,” said Valerie Johnson, one of Jiang’s current teachers. “She will work until she is satisfied that her answer is correct and will seek help to understand fully. She is approachable and not condescending when other classmates ask for assistance. Others know that she can do anything, and she also wants to help others understand.”

Her quiet leadership is certainly noticed by many in her path.

“Students like Julia are a joy to have on our campus,” said Barbe High Principal, Patrick Fontenot. “Julia does not seek attention for her accomplishments, they speak for themselves.”

And her accomplishments are many. Jiang has already taken multiple AP exams, all with the same result: a perfect five. She’s currently enrolled in five additional AP classes and is self-studying for an additional AP exam. Jiang also represented Barbe at the Literally Rally in Chemistry I, reading the entire pre-AP Chemistry textbook in preparation. She ended up bringing home the state title.

“Julia is truly an amazing young lady,” said White. “I can’t wait to see what she chooses as her career path, for I have no doubt she will continue to blaze a trail of success.”

As for her future plans, Jiang will take the SAT later this year and plans to take a full schedule of classes as a senior, including dual enrollment and AP courses. While she doesn’t plan to take the ACT again, she does have advice to share with others prepping for the test.

“Don’t think about trying to make a high score,” said Jiang. “Prepare the subjects you know you aren’t as good in. Don’t get nervous. If you go into the testing room thinking you’ve got to make a certain score, you’re probably not going to make it because you made yourself too nervous.”

Following high school graduation, Jiang isn’t sure where she’ll head for college but she does plan to major in engineering.

Julia Jiang