Jared Reuben of Bluffton with the letter he received from ACT notifying him of his “significant and rare” achievement. JILL REUBEN

Jared Reuben has always done well with school testing, but he never thought he would earn the highest possible composite score on a college entrance exam.

A rising senior at Hilton Head Preparatory School, Jared earned a composite score of 36 on the curriculum-based achievement exam, an honor that fewer than “one-half of 1% of all test takers” in the United States receive, according to a press release from ACT. In the high school graduating class of 2020, the press release said, only 5,579 out of 1.67 million students earned a composite score of 36 on the ACT test.

The Bluffton teenager said he left the test center feeling good about his performance on the test, but he knew there were a few questions he got wrong.

“I was fairly confident that I had done well, but I was definitely surprised to see that I had done so well,” Jared said.

Jared said he did not get every question correct, but he got enough questions correct on each section that it counted as a perfect score. He thinks he missed four or five questions total.

Jared had just sat down to take a final exam when a friend told him he had received an email with his test results. Jared quickly checked his email and saw the good news.

“I definitely sighed a large breath of relief,” Jared said. “It felt good to know that I had a good score that I could use … and that I would never have to take the ACT ever again.”

He texted his mother right away, who was, of course, elated to hear the big news. “We are just so proud of his hard work and accomplishment,” Jared’s mother said.

Jared’s parents, Jill and Jeff Reuben, celebrated by taking their son out to a nice dinner at Akomeya Asian Bistro in Bluffton that night.

Jared was born in Beaufort and attended Beaufort Academy until the second grade, when his family moved to Bluffton and he started attending Hilton Head Preparatory School.

Jared is thankful to have attended the school. “I definitely think they prepared me for ACT the most,” Jared said. “Just my math and English classes have been very helpful there. So I feel lucky to have gone there.”

Jared will turn 18 on Aug. 13 and is not yet sure where he wants to attend college. His favorite subjects are math and science, but he is leaning more toward science after his most recent chemistry classes. In college, he’d like to focus on some sort of chemistry, possibly chemical engineering.

Jared’s hobbies are playing video games, board games and card games with friends. He plays violin in his school’s orchestra and is active in the theatre program.

More importantly, Jared loves helping people. He and a friend, Jack Gigante, founded the South Carolina Suitcase Project to provide suitcases to children in foster care. For more information on their organization, visit thescsuitcaseproject.com.

Amy Coyne Bredeson of Bluffton is a freelance writer, a mother of two and a volunteer with the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance.