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Connor Porthouse

Connor Porthouse, a junior at Runnels School in Baton Rouge, has earned the highest possible score of 1520 on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) that he took this fall.

This isn't the first college readiness test he aced. Last year as a sophomore, he made a perfect score of 36 on the ACT.

The PSAT/NMSQT is a standardized test administered by the College Board and co-sponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. It's a practice test for the SAT and for high school juniors, it is the qualifying test for entry to the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program. Some of the highest scorers may qualify to become National Merit Semi-Finalists and National Merit Commended Students and eventually go on to earn college scholarships.

To prepare for the test, which he took in October, Connor said he used a PSAT study guide. Though he didn't receive any special tutoring or sign up for a preparatory course, he did take practice tests.

Overall, he thought the ACT was more difficult than the PSAT/NMSQT. "The ACT was the harder test in my opinion, because it was slightly longer and had a separate science section."

Connor doesn't know where he will attend college, but he does know what he wants to study: aerospace engineering. On upcoming breaks from school and over summer vacation, he plans to start college visits.

Outside of classwork, he plays cello and participated in the 2018 High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall in New York City. At Runnels he is active in the Robotics Club and Mu Alpha Theta, the math honor society.

Connor is the son of Kristina and Jon Porthouse.