Education

Indiana high school junior only one to get perfect score on 2022 college-level calculus exam

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A northern Indiana student, Felix Zhang, has aced a college-level calculus exam designed for high school students.

He aced the Advanced Placement Calculus AB Exam with 108 points. The 16-year-old junior is the only student in the world to have passed with a perfect score for 2022.

Zhang said, “It was pretty cool. I thought it was very surprising too cause I never thought about like, actually get a perfect score on the exam.”

The AP exam has a multiple-choice section along with a free-response portion that asks students to not only solve a problem, but to explain how they solved it. College Board notified Penn High School officials, and Zhang told his parents about the announcement. All were excited to receive the news.

School Principal Sean Galiher said, “I had to read it several times. I received the email actually last Friday night at our football game and when I read the email I was like, ‘Is this accurate?’ but I was superexcited to hear how successful he was.”

Galiher said the high school pushes for classes that offer both high school and college credits, and Advanced Placement classes because educators want students to feel prepared for college success by exposing them to the academic rigor and challenges.

Denise White is Zhang’s mathematics teacher. She said he’s very quiet and reserved, but a hard worker. “I always knew he had some natural ability with math, but just seeing him work through the calculus, I’m super proud of the work he did.”

White wasn’t at all surprised by Felix’s accomplishment. “The surprising part was that he was the only one in the world, and his reaction was so humbling. He just took it in stride. He wasn’t bragging to his friends about it. Even in class when I announced that all of this was going to be happening, he was really quiet. The students were more excited than Felix was,” White said.

Zhang said, though the accomplishment is nice, he doesn’t feel that much has changed with his everyday life. He’s just happy that everyone else is happy for him. His friends use it now as a way to crack jokes on him. “Yeah, just like for fun sometimes, they like to poke fun at me. If I don’t know, like mess something up, they’ll say, ‘You did this, but now you’re messing this up!’”

The junior hasn’t thought about where he wants to go to for college, or what he wants to study just yet, but says he would enjoy something that’s related to math.

Back in 2017, a student from Carmel, Indiana, was one of three people in the world to get a perfect scpre.