LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Two Hardin County classmates received perfect scores on the ACT.

Central Hardin High School juniors Sam Christensen and Andy McDowell scored the highest marks possible. It was their third time taking the standardized test used for college admissions.

"I just kind of looked at the computer screen for like a minute or two, until it had finally sunk in that I had actually gotten the 36," said Christensen.

"I checked my scores and saw the 36. I remember running downstairs to my mother and sister and immediately tried to call my dad at work," said McDowell.

Both students are involved in their school's academic team and Beta Club.

With many students gearing up for the ACT next Tuesday, the juniors shared their best advice. 

"The tips and tricks actually do kind of help, even if it is just slightly, so don't flat out ignore them," said Christensen, who also suggests to avoid overthinking the questions.

"You should probably go with your gut feeling, because most of the time it's right. If you go back and really analyze the problem, you can convince yourself it's an answer that it's not."

For McDowell, time management is key.

"You have to make sure to keep an up tempo pace," he said. "If you have extra time, check your answers at the end. But you want to make sure you don't have to guess on the last nine or so problems."

He said it was also helpful watching a video on how the ACT wants students to answer certain questions.

After high school, both students plan to study engineering.

McDowell says he will attend University of Louisville or University of Kentucky. Christensen wants to study out of state, and is currently looking at the University of Florida.

For both students, scoring a perfect 36 underscores their love of learning.

"Math is just fun for me," said Christensen. "It's basically just a big puzzle that I get to solve."

"Whether it's in school or not, we always seek to learn," McDowell added. 

Copyright 2021 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.