Three students achieve perfection on AP exams 

Buchholz High School students (from left) Katie He, Tucker Shea and Lucas Garcia earned perfect scores on their AP exams.
Buchholz High School students (from left) Katie He, Tucker Shea and Lucas Garcia earned perfect scores on their AP exams. (Courtesy of Alachua County Public Schools)
Courtesy of Alachua County Public Schools

Buchholz High School students Tucker Shea, Lucas Garcia and Katie He earned perfect scores on the 2022 Advance Placement (AP) exams.  

A student’s highest score on an AP exam is a 5.  

According to the College Board, which runs the AP program, the three Buchholz students earned every possible point on each assessment section, a rare accomplishment.  

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Shea earned perfect scores on two AP exams, making him just one of 22 students worldwide to achieve that distinction on the English Language exam and one of only 49 for the Macroeconomics exam. He passed 12 AP exams at Buchholz, all with the top score of 5.  

Shea credits his teachers for his success on the AP exams.  

“Buchholz has a lot of great teachers, and they’ve prepared me really well for the tests,” he said in a press release.   

Garcia passed seven AP exams, one in which he achieved a perfect score in AP research. There were only 306 perfect AP Research scores worldwide. His paper focused on the relationship between religion and alternative medicine.  

“I felt like I wrote a good research paper, but I wasn’t exactly confident in how it would score,” Garcia said in press release. “So, getting the perfect score was a nice surprise.”  

He, a sophomore at Buchholz, aced the AP Computer Science exam, making her one of 369 students globally to do so. She has already passed six AP exams, all with a top score of 5.  

“I asked questions in class to fill my knowledge gaps, and I reviewed content I wasn’t sure about before the test, and that really helped,” she said in a press release. “I thought I’d done pretty well, but I wasn’t expecting that I’d make no mistakes because I usually make some.”  

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The scoring for these exams is confusing.

If 5 is the highest score and considered perfect, and one student passed all 12 exams with a score of 5, why did the student have a perfect score on only 2 of the exams?


Scores reported are on a scale of 1-5. The number of questions you must get correct or each of these ranks is determined by the test and partially by how people have done on the test. For example a 5 may be defined as getting 90 out of 120 questions correct (I am making up these numbers). Similar to how you can get an A with a score of a 90 or a score of 100, they are both reported as an A. A perfect score means they answered every single question correct which is very rare and worthy of recognition. A 5 means they got the highest grade allowed.


Thank you.

So, if I understand correctly, if they got within the qualifying range then they got a 5 instead of an A. But to get a ‘perfect’ score, also a 5, they need 100% correct answers.

That’s really weird.