A perfect score on the math section of the SAT test is something many high school students cannot attain, but Lake Braddock student Vivaek Shivakumar has already achieved this score in just the eighth grade.
Vivaek is one of nine Lake Braddock students recognized for their academic achievement on the SAT test. Most of the students said they took the test to gain experience and to get a head start on studying for the real thing. A talent search program by The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY) picked the students as some of the most gifted in the country, based on their test scores that ranked higher than the average college bound high school senior. Winning the recognition opens doors for the future, said Elizabeth Denny, an eighth-grader at Lake Braddock.
“I just planned on taking one SAT for good practice,” said Denny. “I wasn’t expecting it [the recognition].”
Denny said the high scores would certainly add to her resume, since she said the Hopkins recognition is something prestigious and valuable. She credited some of her high score on the math section of the test to luck, since she hasn’t taken geometry yet and had to guess many of her math answers. Elizabeth’s mother, Joanna, said she and Elizabeth’s father were very happy with her performance on the test.
“I think it’s a good experience to take it [SAT],” said Elizabeth Denny. “Our first goal was just to get her the experience.”
CTY OFFERS academic courses and summer programs to the students who receive high scores on the tests. The program’s mission is to give families a better idea of their child’s academic talent, and it qualifies the students for these academic programs. At each student’s discretion, they can register for the programs, but they still must pay a tuition fee.
“It motivates me because I see people who get a perfect 800, so that is my goal,” said Hannah Clark, an eighth-grade Lake Braddock winner.
One winner, Soo Kyung Han, said she took the test so she could add the scores to her application to Thomas Jefferson High School, a magnet school in Alexandria. The award for her performance, she said, was a bonus. Kyung said her parents were very happy for her, but said they also wondered how she could improve her scores the next time around.
Clark said she prepared a lot for the test. Her mother, Young, bought her a practice DVD to help her prepare. Young Clark said Elizabeth has always been focused, and that this award should be a tool for her to keep studying for the next time she takes the test. Young Clark also attributed some of her daughter’s success at this level of testing to the faculty at Lake Braddock.
“She’s always been a motivated student,” said Young Clark. “We give lots of credit to her school teachers.”
“Especially my English and math teachers, Mrs. [Lou Ann] Macchiaroli and Mr. [Clarence] Fairbrother,” said Hannah Clark. “They really brought it into the course material.”