James Clemens student 1 of 6 nationwide to get perfect score on AP history exam

"It's sort of unreal to be in such a prestigious position."

Posted: Oct 19, 2021 6:16 PM
Updated: Oct 19, 2021 6:30 PM

A high school student in Madison has achieved perfection — on a school test score, no less.

Only 0.000015% of students who took the AP US History exam got a perfect score, and a student at James Clemens was one of them.

"I couldn't believe it," Jerry Zheng, now a junior, said.

He studied hard for weeks, hoping to get a passing score on the AP exam during his sophomore year.

"I can't even count," Zheng said. "It must have been hundreds of hours by the time I finished."

He didn't expect to do so well. In fact, he said he was sure there was no way he could have gotten each question right.

But he did. He earned all 140 points possible on the exam, which included multiple choice, short answer and even an essay. He was one of six in the country to do so.

"It's sort of unreal to be in such a prestigious position, because normally I'm not the center of attention at school, but all of a sudden, I am," Zheng said.

His teacher, Patrice O'Donnell, couldn't believe it.

"To have a perfect score is something I've never seen," O'Donnell said.

She said her current students are now motivated to get a high score on the test at the end of the school year. Zheng recommended they study hard and take plenty of mock tests.

"You're not going to be able to get away with a really good score unless you study," Zheng said.

He said he feels like he got lucky, but he's glad he passed.

"I'm just really happy all of my hard work in the course of a year really paid off," Zheng said.

Zheng hopes to study computer science in college but said history has always interested him.

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