Dublin Villager

Second run at SAT proves 'perfect' for Zhang

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Connie Zhang scored a perfect 2400 on the SAT. It was the Columbus Academy rising senior's second try at the test.
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Connie Zhang missed her goal on the SAT by about 30 points.

On her second try, the rising senior at the Columbus Academy bested her goal by earning a "perfect" 2400 score on the SAT.

"The first time I missed the goal by about 30 points, so I just really wanted to push it a little more to see where I could go with it," she said.

"I set a goal so I decided to take it again."

Zhang went through a lot of preparation for the college-entrance test.

"I just went through the usual practices," she said.

"I practiced every day and did a couple of sections.

"The SAT is divided into 10 sections and I would take three a day about a month in advance and added on more."

Her mother, Kim Zhang, told her a few times she was overdoing it.

The preparation paid off, but Zhang said she didn't expect a perfect score.

"I don't think anyone goes into the SAT expecting a perfect score," she said.

"I was delightfully surprised," she said. "I came out of the test feeling like I did well.

"I feel like (a perfect score) is something you always hear about other people getting. I'm very shocked I'm one of about 200 people to get it."

According to information from the College Board that runs the SAT, in 2012, 360 students achieved a perfect score on the SAT.

Zhang attended Dublin elementary schools before transferring to Columbus Academy where she started a robotics club, something she considers her crowning achievement of high school.

"My pride and joy is I founded a robotics team at school. I started it last year," she said.

The idea came to Zhang at an MIT summer camp she attended last summer.

After hearing about robotics teams from other students at the camp, she went to the Columbus Academy science department in August with a proposal.

"It was super fun, but so much work," Zhang said.

"I built the team and registered the team, held meetings, planned all the events to create team spirit and managed the budget," Zhang said.

"And, there was the actual building of the robot itself."

"She's very independent," Zhang said of her daughter.

Engineering and programming aren't Zhang's sole interests, though.

Along with editing the school's newspaper, Zhang added infographics to the publication two years ago and even earned a national award for her work.

"I intend to continue next year and train two under classmen to do this," she said.

Zhang's schedule is filled with a few other activities as well.

"I'm one of the coleaders of GROW, Gender Relations in Our World," she said.

"We do a lot of awareness things," she said, adding that the group also does work at Nancy's Place, a women's shelter.

This fall Zhang will be president of the Latin Club and she is a member of the school orchestra, playing cello and piano.

"I used to play piano competitively," she said. "I still really enjoy the piano."

Music isn't Zhang's only artistic endeavor, though.

"I've been drawing since I was very young," she said.

"I don't take art at school because it doesn't fit into my schedule, but I draw a lot. I do a lot of digital work," she said, adding that she took a scholastic honorable mention in 2011 for art.

"I draw on my own. It's a side hobby for me. I also write for essay competitions."

Zhang has scored a few awards for her essays and had a few poems published in middle school.

Being named an AP Scholar with Honor in 2012 and a National AP Scholar in 2013 also number among her accomplishments.

With a perfect SAT score, Zhang plans to apply for some top colleges.

"I'll apply for top schools just to see if I can," she said. "I would love to go some place like Stanford.

"It's strong in engineering and humanities," Zhang said.

"Since I have an interest in both I'd like to go to a place that is strong in both."

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