Sophomore Aces State Competition
Joshua Bode '21

Lauren Ellens takes tests for fun. And she’s quite good at it, too. In fact, she is the ACES English State Champion. 

The Academic Challenge, which began in 1975, is a test-taking competition with seven different categories: English, computer science, biology, chemistry, physics, engineering graphics, and math. Schools from across Illinois and Missouri compete in ACES at the local, regional, and state levels. The top two testers in every competition move on to the next level of competition.

Lauren, a sophomore, is the youngest student on Timothy’s ACES team, and specializes in chemistry and English. She joined ACES because she hopes to pursue a career in engineering, and thought ACES would provide valuable experience. 

Studying for the competition is part of the challenge, and for Lauren, part of the fun. ACES provides a list of books to read before the competition. Once Lauren reads the books, she then studies biographies on the authors and looks online for insights about each book. 

While many people may dread tests, Lauren hardly gets nervous at all. She even feels a little excited. Her favorite part about ACES is the challenge of trying to comprehend what all the authors are trying to say.

“I like the challenge of ACES,” Lauren says. “I am the youngest person who qualified for Sectionals and State at Timothy.” 

Our students are thriving. Our ACT scores are up and we had 22 seniors recognized as Illinois State Scholars. The State Scholar program identifies graduating high school seniors who possess superior academic potential. Students from nearly every high school in Illinois compete in the program. In order to receive this honor, students must perform in the top one-half of their high school class at the end of their junior year of high school, and/or score at or above the 95th percentile on the ACT or SAT. Approximately 10% of all Illinois high school seniors are named State Scholars.

  • academics