Indiana teen 'only student in the world' to ace AP Calculus exam

Penn Junior Felix Zhang being interviewed by reporters. (Credit: Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation)

An Indiana teenager has achieved something no other student in the world achieved this spring: a perfect score on the Advanced Placement Calculus AB exam. 

Felix Zhang is a junior at Penn High School in Mishawaka, Indiana. 

The Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation said that the College Board, which administers the AP exams, told the school's principal that Zhang achieved a perfect "5" rating and was the only student in the world to earn every possible point on the AP Calculus AB exam. In other words, he achieved a 108 out of 108. 

"This outstanding accomplishment is likely a direct reflection of the top-quality education being offered at Penn High School," Head of the Advanced Placement Program Trevor Packer said in a news release. "We applaud Felix's hard work and the AP teacher responsible for engaging students and enabling them to excel in a college-level course."

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Zhang recently held a news conference about his achievement.  He took the test in the spring of 2022 along with 270,000 students worldwide. 

"I felt pretty confident knowing that I knew what to do on the test, but there was always a chance I would make a small error or something," he said. "So I wasn't really expecting to see a perfect score. And that was pretty surprising to me because I felt like, there's a lot of other people out there who probably perform very well on this test, and I'm pretty surprised that no one else got a perfect score."

Zhang is currently studying AP Calculus CB.

"The teachers in Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation are some of the best in the state of Indiana," Superintendent Dr. Jerry Thacker said. "Their incredible dedication and commitment to academic excellence and making sure every single student reaches their highest potential is nothing short of extraordinary; and they do this every day across our district, in all 15 schools. Felix Zhang and teacher Mrs. Denise White are just one of the many examples of great student/teacher relationships that result in phenomenal achievements for our students. It exemplifies our ‘Triangle of Success’—connecting students, teachers and parents!"

AP exams are used to help students gain entry into colleges along with scholarships and other financial aid.  Colleges and universities around the world receive AP® scores for college.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.