Tang, the daughter of Chiung-Fang Liang, took the test in October. This was her first time to take the exam in high school. She previously took the ACT as part of the Duke Talent Identification Program in middle school, where she scored a 30 in the 7th grade.
“I felt pretty confident coming out of it,” says Tang, who is taking several Advanced Placement Classes at Conway High School. “I felt like I was well-prepared for the test, so I wasn't stressed about it.”
Jillian Tang says she took the PSAT Prep Course offered at Conway High School over the summer, which helped her with test-taking techniques and vocabulary. But she says most of her preparation has been long term, taking college-level AP classes and maximizing her time in high school. When the scores came out, Tang saw that her hard work had paid off.
“I actually felt really relieved,” she said, “Of course my mom was very happy for me!”
Tang says her next steps include taking the SAT in hopes of qualifying for a National Merit Scholarship, and doing whatever she can to enrich her last year and a half of high school. She is a member of the Quiz Bowl team and serves as the pianist for the Arkansas Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Her plans after high school aren’t finalized, but right now she wants to stay close to home.
“At this point my plan is to study at UCA. I plan to study piano performance with Dr. Carl Anthony. At the same time, I want to build a firm foundation in math and science and establish strong research skills, so one degree in piano performance and one degree in biology seems like the best combination for me right now.”
Conway High School Principal Joel Linn says we will see more great things from Tang in the future.
“We are extremely proud of Jillian. She is an excellent student and an amazingly talented young lady. Her accomplishments are a direct reflection of the hard work she puts into her academic studies, the great support she has at home, and the dedicated work of all the teachers she has had at Conway Public Schools.”
When asked about her favorite classes, Jillian says she loves all of them.
“I’ve had many great teachers. They’ve truly gone the extra mile to help me achieve my goals.”
“Most people thing I have a “tiger mom”, especially since I’m Asian, but actually my mom gives me a lot of freedom to pursue my personal goals,” Tang says. “With my mom’s support, I’m able to follow my passions in two completely different fields. Many people call me a dreamer, but she believes in me so that my fairy tales have a chance to become true.”