Ask Murphy High’s Griffin Noble how he managed to get a 36 on the ACT college entrance exam, and he doesn’t really have an answer.
“I’ve told everyone who asked me how I did this: I don’t know,” said Noble, a member of Murphy’s International Baccalaureate program. “I’m just a really good test-taker, apparently. Part of that is I’ve been in the IB program for two years.”
Noble is the third Mobile County Public Schools student to earn a perfect 36 on the ACT this year and the fourth in the last two years. But he is rare in that he accomplished the feat before his junior year. A trombone player in Murphy’s marching band, he still doesn’t know where he wants to go to college or what he’ll study when he gets there.
He does know that in addition to the support and encouragement of parents who are both teachers and some tips and pointers passed down from an older brother, the rigor of Murphy’s International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement classes and the excellence of its teachers at Murphy and Phillips Preparatory helped him earn the perfect score.
“It definitely helped with work ethic in general and, of course, test-taking,” Noble said of his IB and AP coursework. “All the teachers here are amazing. I’ve got to give props to them because they have definitely helped me a ton.
“I’m still in shock about this, but I’m proud to represent Murphy nicely because I do love this school very much and think it’s an amazing place for everyone here.”
Murphy Principal Joe Toomey said Noble’s accomplishment highlights the value of Murphy programs like IB, AP and the University of Alabama Early College program.
“These are the kinds of kids we’re building for your future,” Toomey said. “We care about every kid here and we want to make sure they’re the best they can be.”
Asked what advice he’d have for other students taking the ACT, a primary benchmark for acceptance in colleges and universities around the country, Noble encouraged them to take the test early and take it as often as possible.
“Really, taking it is the easiest way to do better. You’ve got to know how it works,” he said. “When I took it the first time, I was confused because there were so many questions and so little time. This one was a lot better now that I knew what was going on. I still was very surprised with a 36.”