When Nikhil Thomas got his ACT results back, he didn’t expect a 36, which is the highest composite score. A 10th grader at Carrollton’s Harmony Science Academy, Thomas is heavily involved in robotics and engineering. He said he hopes to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology Stanford, University of California Berkeley, Caltech, or the University of Texas at Austin.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Nikhil Thomas, and I’m in the engineering pathway along with some of my friends and we’re involved in a lot of extracurriculars like robotics and rocketry. I really enjoy reading, playing the piano, and I also enjoy solving Rubik’s cubes.
What was your reaction when you found out you made a perfect score?
I really didn’t believe it because on my practice tests, I have sometimes gotten good scores on math, but I typically struggle in reading and writing. It was a real surprise to me that I managed to get a perfect score, and I really didn’t expect that.
How did you prepare for the ACT?
There’s a lot of practice tests available online, and those are really helpful me. That’s mainly what I used to practice, but I also go to an SAT prep class outside of school. It’s mostly for the SAT, but it really helped me with the ACT because it teaches you general testing strategies.
What advice do you have for those who are preparing for the ACT or SAT?
There’s a lot of resources out there so you can search the internet, take practice tests and identify which type of questions you’re missing the most and try to fix those. Also, don’t forget about the essay. It’s usually in the same format every year, so you can study that and use that to get a better score on the essay.
Do you know what you want to study in college?
Nothing specific yet, but I do plan to major in something related with computer science and engineering. Those are what I’m most passionate about.
What extracurricular activities are you involved in?
First Tech Challenge Robotics, Team America Rocketry Challenge and Math Olympiad are the main extracurricular activities I’m involved in. My favorite is probably robotics. I’m heavily involved in that.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I do enjoy playing the piano. I’ve been playing for over nine years. I do a lot of robotics in my free time.
What’s your favorite movie?
“Avengers: End Game”
What keeps you motivated?
A lot of people are motivated by accomplishing a task or goal, but I feel like what motivates me is the process itself. In robotics, even though out team didn’t make it to nationals, and we lost a few matches, the experience of building a team and working with my friends was really enjoyable. I think that’s what motivates me to do these things.
Who are some of the people who have supported you?
My parents. My dad helped a lot with robotics and my interest in engineering. My mom has also been heavily involved in my academics. She meets with my councilors and makes sure I can have a good future.
What are some places you would like to visit?
My mom really enjoys traveling and I’ve been to a lot of places around the world like China, Japan, Indian, London, Paris and Costa Rica. If I had to go somewhere I would probably go to Alaska and somewhere in South America.