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Interview: Carroll Junior Was Perfect on SAT

Jul 01, 2015 04:01PM ● Published by Kevin

Nikhil Ravi who enters his senior year in 2015-16 already having achieved a perfect score on the SAT. Photo courtesy of Ravi Venugopal.

Carroll High School's Nikhil Ravi, 16, heads into his senior year having achieved something so few can even fathom: a perfect score on the SAT. After strenuous practice, Ravi, 15 at the time, took the exam in October 2014. All there was left to do was wait...

The results came in two weeks later and the rest is history. While it's huge news for the district, the point really hit home with his parents.

"Of course we are really proud of all his academic achievements," said his father, Ravi Venugopal. "but we are equally proud of his well-rounded personality and his participation in a variety of extracurricular activities including robotics, band and special olympics."

We had a chance to chat with Nikhil about the test and his future aspirations in a Q&A.

Southlake Style: How did you find out the results? What was your reaction?

Nikhil Ravi: The college board releases the scores at like 4 a.m. about 2 and a half weeks after taking the test. After the test, I knew that I had done quite well because I prepared a lot for it. I woke up right at 4 a.m. that morning, logged on and checked my scores. I was really thrilled. I was really happy. It was definitely something I didn’t expect, but I knew I had done well enough to get that score. 

SS: What type of preparation went into all of this?

Ravi: I took the test in October and spent the months prior (half of August and all of September) doing a lot of practice tests. I ended up taking 20 college board practice tests. I took all the tests I could get my hands on. I spent a few hours every day going through those tests, looking at what I got wrong, finding strategies to rule out questions based on grammar and learn grammar and vocabulary. 

SS: What would you say is your strong suit academically? 

Ravi: Academically I think that I would probably classify myself as more of a math/science person. I am interested in computer sciences, life sciences, math and advanced math.

SS: What’s next for you?

Ravi: Right now, I’m working on all of my college applications trying to get into the best college that I can. I'm also working on an ongoing research project. I have an internship and a job that I’m working right now.

The research project is in the fields of ophthalmology and computer sciences. Along with that, I'm interning at an ophthalmology practice in Southlake where I live. I’ve been writing an algorithm using Matlab to analyze the pictures in the back of the eye to help diagnose and treat the illness glaucoma. 

I also work at a tech company called Dialexa in Dallas and am doing a lot of web-based programming on web applications. 

SS: Where you looking to go to school?

Ravi: My dream schools would be either Harvard or Stanford but definitely a lot of the other Ivy League schools, and then MIT, Carnegie Melon, UC-Berkley, Cal Tech, Duke, and the University of Texas (UT has an automatic admissions program for those in the top 7 percent of their graduating class). 

SS: What will be your major?

Ravi: I want to major in something at the intersection of computer sciences and the life sciences (computational biology, bio engineering). I see myself as an entrepreneur and a leader in the field of new technologies. 

SS: Any last thoughts before we let you go? 

Ravi: I definitely like to thank my parents most of all for helping me through all of this process. I couldn’t have done it without them. Also all the great teachers at Carroll ISD and the district itself. I’m in a position where I can have successes like I did on the SAT in this type of environment.

Today, City+School standardized test scores academics students SAT perfect scores

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