A 10-year-old girl has scored a perfect 800 on the math portion of the Scholastic Assessment Test college entrance exam, an achievement that experts believe to be unrivaled.
But for Wei Ho, a seventh grader at New Berlin West Middle School, the achievement is "sort of" a source of pride.
Before Wei, there was only a record of a 10-year-old boy scoring 800 on the math SAT, said Julian Stanley of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, a psychology professor who produced the landmark Study of Mathematically Precocious Youths in 1971.
The average math score for all students taking the test was 478 in the most recent testing year, according to the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, N.J., where the SATs are developed and scored.
Wei took the SAT to qualify for special summer programs designed for gifted students. She scored 410 on the verbal portion of the SAT.
A standout for years, Wei moved through the entire middle school math program in just over half a year. Last year, when she was a fifth-grader, she attended daily high school math classes. Now she takes an independent study course with her brother, Pei, 13, also a gifted math student.
Her teachers say she will complete all high school math courses within two years. After that, by state law, the district would be required to pay her expenses to attend university-level courses.
Wei and her brother have much support at home. Both parents, who emigrated from Taiwan, are trained as mathematicians. Her father, Yang Ho, an actuary, holds a doctorate in mathematics.
At age 4, Wei could perform two-digit subtraction. "At the time, I realized she may be different from other kids," her father recalled.