From the time Keri Tomechko entered the world two minutes after her twin brother, Michael Tomechko, they’ve tended to do the same things, from sports to school clubs to their jobs at Panera.
So when the Revere High School juniors took the ACT in December, it was no surprise that they both achieved perfect scores of 36 on the test.
"It kind of makes it more special, I think,” Keri said. “[It’s] already pretty rare and difficult to get a 36 as it is. To have two from one family, one set of twins at the same time is just, it's pretty cool. It's definitely exciting."
The ACT, the standardized test used for college admissions, includes four multiple-choice tests: English, math, reading and science. The overall score — for the twins, a 36 — is the average of the scores on each of the four tests. Only about two-tenths of 1 percent of test takers score a perfect 36.
The 17-year-old twins first took the test as freshmen. Keri earned a 33; Michael, a 31. Going into their second attempt in December 2018, they both only wanted to do better than two years ago.
To prepare for the test, Keri and Michael took practice tests. Michael was nervous about the science section, while Keri knew math would be her challenge.
But the twins say the most significant factor that prepared them for the test is the education they’ve received since kindergarten in the Revere school district.
"Honestly, just having taken the classes that we've taken at Revere has basically — this is gonna sound like I'm trying to hype up the school — but, I mean, honestly, because of the nature of the test, just having gotten the education we've had was most of the preparation that we had to do,” Keri said.
Ready to roll
On test day at Firestone Community Learning Center, Keri and Michael brought calculators, pencils, erasers, mints and water. After they finished the test, both said they felt pretty good about how it went.
The twins got their results two weeks later. Keri said they persistently visited the website, waiting for the scores to post. Keri found out first and immediately started celebrating with their mom.
"It felt awesome. It was kind of unreal,” she said. “I thought I did better than freshman year but wasn't really expecting it.”
Michael’s results took a few more minutes to load.
"I expected a little bit below, but not exactly ,” he said. “I was nervous initially because I heard Keri cheering upstairs, so for the few moments before I checked my scores, I was nervous I wasn't going to do as well as Keri. But when I checked, I was really happy.”
With their perfect scores in hand, Keri plans to study pre-med in college, while Michael, an Eagle Scout, plans to study chemical engineering. Neither is sure where they want to attend school — Keri thinks somewhere in Chicago could be an option for her — but their criteria are pretty simple.
"Wherever I can get like a really good scholarship,” Keri said.
It doesn’t seem like that’ll be a problem for the twins, who are each taking four Advanced Placement (AP) classes this year: biology, chemistry, government and English language and composition.
Outside of the classroom, Keri and Michael both compete in track and cross country. They’re both in National Honor Society, Science Olympiad and the math honor society Mu Alpha Theta. They also both work at Panera in Montrose.
"It's a lot,” added Keri, who was also in the school musical the last two years. "It equals not enough sleep every day."
Other perfect scores
Revere communications specialist Jennifer Reece said the twins join seven other current Revere students who’ve earned perfect ACT scores: sophomore Cooper Krauth, junior Samantha Ma and seniors Tiger Du, Karl Godard, Jack Krew, Victoria Liu and Kyle Shin.
Elsewhere in Summit County, Hudson has six current perfect-score students: seniors Kyle Gluntz, Yuhan Kim, Alex Liesen and Isabel Wu and juniors Ben Hackenberg and Terry Li.
“Nine for this size district is amazing, so we're super proud of all of them,” Reece said of the Revere students. While not the smallest district in Summit County, in the 2016-17 school year, Revere had 2,653 students whereas Akron, the county's largest district, had more than 20,000.
For students preparing to take the ACT, Michael encouraged taking practice tests.
“Get yourself acclimated with the feel of the test and the pacing and the types of questions,” he said.
For students still a few years away from the test — like their younger sister, eighth-grader Sara — Keri encouraged they push themselves and take “the most challenging classes” to prepare for the ACT and beyond.
“We've had to work hard for a very long time ... a lot of late nights, a lot of homework time outside of school, a lot of studying time, but, I mean, it produces this kind of results,” she said. “The hard work is definitely worth it.”
Beacon Journal reporter Emily Mills can be reached at 330-996-3334, firstname.lastname@example.org and @EmilyMills818.