Skip to content

Achieving the perfect score

A local student has reached a coveted achievement by snagging a perfect score on the ACT.

Breanna Hoffman, of Desloge, scored a 36 on her ACT in December, the highest score possible. And Hoffman is just a junior at North County High School.

According to the ACT’s official website, only 0.195 percent of all test takers earn a perfect score. This puts Hoffman in the top 1 percent of all test takers in the nation. Considering the average composite score for students in Missouri is 20.4, Hoffman is clearly a standout in the state and country.

This was not her first ACT experience.

Regena Rayfield, her mother, recounted the previous tests Hoffman has taken.

“Last year she took the ACT and scored a 34,” she said. “She told me then she could make a perfect score, and she did.”

Even though Hoffman knew she would do well on her ACT in December, she did not fully expect the results she got.

“I expected it to be high,” she said, “but not perfect.”

Hoffman and her mother both stress the importance of studying for such good grades.

“I think it’s very important to point out that she worked hard at it, and required practice and studying,” Rayfield said.

But sometimes, it isn’t enough to know the information that will be on the test.

“Even though I do well academically,” Hoffman said, “the ACT is a standardized test, so you really have to learn how to take the test, too.”

Standardized testing has been a bit controversial in the last several years, with some stating that standardized tests are not accurate indicators of student intelligence, and that they do nothing to help improve student performance. Proponents of standardize testing say that it is a reliable way of measuring student achievement and that teaching students how to take tests is good for their overall education.

Regardless of positions on standardized testing, the fact that Hoffman was able to achieve a perfect score is nonetheless impressive. She said that she spent a lot of time not only studying, but taking practice tests.

“As a junior, she hasn’t had all of the math classes,” Rayfield said, “so I think studying and taking practice tests really helped.”

And it’s shown.

Hoffman adds that her teachers at North County have been a tremendous help, as well. Not only did they help her by giving her the knowledge she needed for the content of the test, but they also gave her advice about how to take the test.

She still has a year of high school left, and currently, Hoffman is the vice president of the math club and the secretary of the science club. She also does theater. But when she graduates, she knows she wants to go to college, even if she isn’t sure where yet.

“Maybe Ivy League,” she said, not a far-fetched idea for a student with scores as high as hers. She also said that she thinks Washington University will be her top choice if she decides to stay closer to home.

Like many students heading toward college, Hoffman is unsure of what she would like to study. She thinks she will likely stay in the area of sciences, or perhaps genetics. Right now, though, she’s just taking things one step at a time.

Rayfield has always believed that Hoffman was destined for great things.

“She has always been very smart, but she also works very hard for her grades,” Rayfield said. “She was in the gifted program at school. In the 7th grade, she had the opportunity to take the ACT with the Duke TIP talent program and she scored a 27. She has been studying since then, doing practice tests and using the official ACT study guide.

“It has always been a goal for both of us,” Rayfield continued, “for me because I knew I wouldn’t be able to pay for her college …”

All of the hard work from Hoffman has clearly paid off.

Breanna Hoffman, a junior at North County High School, achieved the incredible when she scored a perfect 36 on her ACT.

Breanna Hoffman, a junior at North County High School, achieved the incredible when she scored a perfect 36 on her ACT.

Rachel Gann is a reporter for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at 573-518-3617 or at

Leave a Comment