Hanoi high school student Vu Quoc Trung has managed to secure a perfect score in the SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) and a VND6.8-billion (US$290,100) scholarship from a U.S. college.
The 12th grader at the Foreign Language Specialized School said he has received a letter of acceptance from Colby College in Maine State, which according to U.S. News & Report is among the top 25 innovative schools in the country.
“I chose to enroll in computer science in the field of environment, and plan to enroll in the engineering partner program of the school with Dartmouth College.”
Trung said since he was in middle school he had wanted to study abroad and had initially targeted Australia.
Admission to U.S. universities requires certain scores in standardized tests like SAT and IELTS, high GPAs, extracurricular activities, and essays.
To improve his chances, Trung took the Advanced Placement exams in math and computer science.
“I aimed to finish SAT either in the summer of 10th grade or early in 11th grade. Then I wanted to spend three months on the IELTS and then focus on the APs at the end of 11th grade.”
As a student of English, he said he did not have much trouble with the tests. He is one of the few to score a perfect SAT score of 1,600.
Last year only 8% of Asian students scored 1,400 or more.
Trung maintained a GPA of 9.4/10 and in AP scored a perfect 5/5 in math.
He said he spent his summer vacations on scientific research, with particular focus on the environment and new materials. He also co-authored two articles in the NeuroQuantology journal.
He collaborated with a research team at the Electric Power University to invent some products and founded the Science4Life club for students.
Vu Quoc Dat, his father, said Trung succeeded because he knew what he wanted.
Le Thi Thanh Ha, Trung’s homeroom teacher, described him as an active and bright student. She was among those who wrote him a recommendation letter for the university.
Trung flies out to the U.S. in August.
“I dream of becoming a technologist and innovator in environment and energy, and researching in areas like solar-powered batteries.”