Detroit area 13-year-old achieves perfect ACT test score

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It's usually high schoolers who spend hours studying and stressing over college entrance exams like the ACT.

But tonight one local middle school student is celebrating the stunning results of his standardized test.

Thirteen-year-old middle school student Alan Zhang can brag about what some high school students can only dream of achieving - a perfect 36 ACT score.

"First it was disbelief," he said. "I scrolled up and I found my results showed composite 36, so at first I dropped my phone."

The West Hills Middle School student says he learned about the achievement earlier this month. But why was a 13-year-old taking a test for high school students?

"It was a talent search program," Zhang said. "The ACT is very important later on and I just wanted to get a head start."

Alan is very humble about his achievements - but he does offer this advice for students looking to score big on the ACT:

"Doing well on ACT is not just about studying for the ACT," he said. "It's also reading different books and exposing yourself to different subjects."

Alan says he has a love for learning. In his spare time he enjoys reading and is currently enrolled in math on a high school level.

His parents say they are proud of his success but they want him to focus on more than academics.

"Academically he's doing pretty well but on the other hand for him to be a well-rounded person also important," said Jun Zhang, his father. "Almost more important."

School officials say the district strives to make sure students who are achieving above grade level are still challenged to extend their learning.

"I'm encouraged by his character and the way he carries himself and I know he will be a difference maker in society," said Rob Durecka, the West Hills Middle School principal.

Outside of the classroom Alan is in several school clubs and also volunteers.

He says he will attend Bloomfield Hills High School but does not have his eye on any one college at this time. He said he is planning to pursue a career in medicine.

But for now Alan is gearing up for the SAT.

"I'm looking to take SAT in a few weeks as well," he said. "But I already have ACT behind me."