In 2015, four and a half million students took Advanced Placement exams on 35 subjects including everything from Macroeconomics to Calculus. The test are administered by the College Board to high school juniors and seniors, and a passing score means college credit for applicable classes. A passing score is 3 or better, with 5 being the highest score possible.
While that sounds like a 5 would be the equivalent of 80% and easy to achieve, it’s really not. In 2015, out of that 4.5 million, fewer than 3 million passed the exams, and only 322 students received a perfect score.
One of those was Grecia Perez, a junior at Southwest High school in San Diego, California. She took home a perfect five on her AP exam in Spanish Literature, the first perfect score ever awarded to a student at Southwest. Spanish is her first language, but that’s no guarantee of a grade. No student in the nation scored as high on the English Literature exam last year.
The teenager is proud of her score, but not inclined to rest on her laurels. She’s already registered for four more Advanced Placement classes for her senior year and is working towards her goal of majoring in film at San Francisco State University.
The next AP courses Perez plans to tackle are Environmental Science, Government, English Literature, and the next tier of Spanish Literature. Environmental Science and Government are both ambitious choices, being the two AP courses with the lowest pass rates nationwide, and English Literature is a bold choice for a student who did not speak English when she started at Southwest three years ago. Perez, true to form for a great intellect in the making, is undaunted.
“I want to be part of some social change,” she said in an interview with local news. She hopes to become a community leader and is on good footing to do whatever she wants to do with a brilliant future.