Houston Saxon of Lumberton, a junior English and history major and philosophy minor at William Carey University, recently scored in the 100th percentile nationally on the Area Concentration Achievement Test for English.
The ACAT is administered as part of the coursework for ENG 498, a senior-level course, and assesses content knowledge and retention by students at the completion of their major field of study. The ACAT is a timed exam scored on an 800-point scale and acts as a comparison standard to some of the best undergraduate programs in the country.
Students who do well on the ACAT for English must be well-read in British and American literature. Sections on the ACAT for English include American to 1865; American Modern; British Medieval; British Renaissance; British Romantic Period; British Victorian Literature; Linguistics; Restoration/18th Century/Romantic; and Shakespeare.
Saxon scored a 779 on the exam, with perfect scores on the British Renaissance and Restoration/18th Century/Romantic sections. Other noteworthy sectional scores were a 740 in British Romantic and a 749 in Linguistics, although his scores were high on all sections.
“I’ve worked with students and the ACAT for more than seven years and we’ve had some great scores. However, Houston’s score was exceptional,” said Dr. Thomas Richardson, chair of the Department of Language and Literature. “The ACAT is taken without any specific preparation, other than degree coursework and a lifetime of reading and study. Having a student score in the 100th percentile shows his dedication to scholarship and we are so proud of him and his work.”
During the summer, Saxon will complete his graduation requirements, as well as enroll in courses in Latin through Louisiana State University’s distance learning program. After graduating from Carey in August, he will travel to Angers, France, for a semester of intensive study in French through the Consortium for Global Education. He hopes to apply for and be accepted into a post-baccalaureate program in classical studies in the fall of 2017.
“My ultimate goal is to be a writer of literature. To be a great writer and not have read thoroughly in the tradition is impossible. My scores show I have studied the various styles and aspects of English literature, making me a better writer,” said Saxon.