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Conway student achieves perfect score on SAT

Posted: April 10, 2012 - 8:20pm

Sigan Chen is in rare company academically.

The 15-year-old junior at Conway High School earned a perfect score of 2400 on the SAT.

Only one student in Arkansas achieved a perfect score in 2011, according to the College Board, a nonprofit organization that publishes the standardized test for college admissions in the U.S.

“Data for the class of 2011 does put in perspective what a rare accomplishment it is to achieve a 2400,” Kate Levin, SAT spokesperson, said Tuesday.

A total of 1,345 students statewide took the SAT in 2011. Nationwide, 1,647,123 students took the SAT in 2011 and 384 achieved a perfect score.

Chen alluded to “luck” as a contributing factor in her score. But Donna Whiting, Gifted and Talented supervisor for Conway schools, said Chen’s score “was a result of hard work by a bright girl.”

“She mentions luck, and certainly that can be a part of it,” Whiting said. “The brightest student can take the test over and over again and not score perfectly, but we adults who work with Sigan were not surprised,” Whiting added: “We were delighted and proud, but not surprised.”

Chen is a student who “does what she should do,” Whiting said, “and she is now reaping the benefits of her work.”

Chen transferred to the Conway School District from Baton Rouge, La., in the seventh grade and was able to skip her eighth-grade year.

Her current schedule is full of advanced placement courses, and her school involvement does not stop when the last bell rings.

She is a member of several academic clubs and participates in track. On Tuesday, she was practicing with her teammates for an upcoming Quiz Bowl tournament.

“Outside of school, I play piano. It is all very time consuming,” said Chen.

She has traditionally spent summers studying with her father to learn Chinese, the language of her birthplace. She moved from Bejing with her parents, Xiaowei and Zhirong Chen, at age 6.

Whiting said her Chinese language skills will surely further her along in her career goals.

Chen said that after she studies economics at either Duke University or the University of Pennsylvania, she plans to teach or serve as a financial advisor for a large international company. Ideally, she said, she will work for a U.S. company that requires representation in China.

Chen said she has always been encouraged by her parents to take advantage of every possibility.

“They’ve told me that I have so much opportunity,” she said. “They remind me of that, of how other Chinese people in America have come to the U.S. with no English, who start by working in restaurants. They work their way up from nothing.”

Whiting said she is unaware of another Conway student achieving a perfect score on the SAT.

“I’ve had students with perfect math or verbal scores, but never a perfect score over all,” said Whiting, who has spent 40 years in education.

SAT was first called Scholastic Aptitude Test, then later named Scholastic Assessment Test. It is now known only as SAT.

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by e-mail at courtney.spradlin@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)

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BuzzBy
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BuzzBy 04/11/12 - 11:29 am
4
0
KUDOS
Unpublished

DJB1971
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DJB1971 04/11/12 - 11:32 am
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Congratulations!

Job well done.

ucantbserious
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ucantbserious 04/11/12 - 11:39 am
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Agreed!

Job well done, Miss Chen!

arkansasobserver
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arkansasobserver 04/11/12 - 11:59 am
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Incredible

What an incredible achievement! Congratulations to Ms. Chen along with my best wishes for a successful life.

i_wonder
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i_wonder 04/11/12 - 12:19 pm
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obviously
Unpublished

She copied off of Igor.

Kidding, great job!!

ucantbserious
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ucantbserious 04/11/12 - 12:25 pm
1
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Not necessarily

Her chances of success greatly improved by looking at my answers and selecting one of the other options. Heck, on a good day I'm lucky to get partial credit for getting a portion of my name right.

DJB1971
15050
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DJB1971 04/11/12 - 12:56 pm
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You're lucky...

...your name only contains letters. I seemed to always get the numbers in my name mixed up.

Also, it typically took me 45 minutes to simply squeeze into the desk.

ucantbserious
30332
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ucantbserious 04/11/12 - 01:13 pm
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I know what you mean.

Not to mention the fact that they keep those classrooms cold and don't serve coffee like when you are at Starbucks.

DJB1971
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DJB1971 04/11/12 - 01:38 pm
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Well...

...at least the seats weren't leather.

I was once stuck in a Books-A-Million for three days because I couldn't detach myself from their reading chair.

i_wonder
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i_wonder 04/11/12 - 01:41 pm
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This is probably not the place to brag
Unpublished

But I also scored 2400 on the SAT.

750 the first time, then 800, then 850.

But I don't want an article written about it.

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