Grade 12 student Nick Scholz and 2014 grad Jennifer Park achieved something quite rare last year.
The two students are among only 285 in the world to earn a perfect score on an Advanced Placement (AP) exam in 2014. Jennifer and Nick both earned every point possible in the multiple choice and free-response sections of their respective exams.
Jennifer, who is now a freshman studying at Duke University, achieved a perfect score on the AP Macroeconomics exam. Nick got top marks on the AP German Language and Culture exam.
“I took 10 AP courses at SMUS between grades 10 and 12, and I graduated with 12 AP credits,” said Park, a longtime Victoria resident. “Taking these advanced courses at SMUS made my transition into university much smoother and gave me a breadth of knowledge that couldn’t have been obtained from standard high school classes.”
Taking these advanced courses at SMUS made my transition into university much smoother and gave me a breadth of knowledge that couldn’t have been obtained from standard high school classes.
Given there were only 285 perfect scores out of more than 4,000,000 AP exams written in 2014, it is extremely rare for a high school student to earn every point possible on these university-level exams.
SMUS is proud to be one of only 26 schools worldwide with two or more perfect exams in 2014. Nearly 20,000 schools participate in the AP program.
“We are incredibly proud of Jennifer and Nick on their outstanding achievements, as well as the more than 230 students at SMUS who challenge themselves every year by participating in the AP program,” said Head of School Bob Snowden. “The success of our students in the AP program is a tribute to their talent and hard work, and confirms the value of integrating the AP program into our overall academic approach.
In 1978, SMUS became the first school in Canada to offer the AP program. The school remains one of the largest AP schools in Canada, in terms of the number of exams taken each year. In 2012, SMUS was named the top school in Canada for “equity and excellence” in the AP program.
“Encouraging and enabling our students to set their sights high and seek advanced placement in colleges and universities is part of our commitment to seek the excellence in all of us and provide outstanding preparation for higher learning and for life,” Snowden said.
SMUS offers 26 AP courses, including Human Geography, Psychology, Microeconomics/Macroeconomics, Environmental Science, Comparative Government and Politics, Calculus and Chemistry.
“I think the AP Program is very useful, especially for students who are aiming for high-ranking universities, and especially for those looking at U.S. universities,” Park said. “Not only does success in an AP course provide a boost to your application, it allows you to skip university-level intro classes and jump straight into the more interesting upper-level classes.”
SMUS’s AP Numbers
(AP considers a score of 3, 4 or 5 on an exam a “success”)
• 234 SMUS students wrote 572 AP exams in 2014.
• 88% of SMUS AP students earned an exam score of 3 or higher (success) in 2014; 7 points higher than the B.C. success rate (81%) and 27 points higher than the global success rate (61%).
• 265 SMUS students in Grades 10-12 currently (2014-15) take at least one AP course.
• 149 out of 160 students in SMUS’s 2015 graduating class currently take at least one AP course.
• 29 SMUS students received National AP Scholar awards in 2014, awarded to students who receive scores of 4 or higher on five or more AP exams, and have an overall average of at least 4.