Three students earn rare perfect scores on Advanced Placement exams

Left to right: Katie He, Tucker Shea, Lucas Garcia

Press release from Alachua County Public Schools

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The highest score a student can earn on a rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) exam is a 5, but three Alachua County Public Schools have even that score beat.

According to the College Board, which runs the AP program, Buchholz High School students Lucas Garcia, Katie He, and Tucker Shea all earned perfect scores on AP exams in 2022, meaning they earned every possible point on every section of the assessment. It’s a rare accomplishment. 

Senior Tucker Shea actually earned perfect scores on two AP exams. He’s one of just 22 students worldwide to achieve that distinction on the English Language exam and one of only 49 for the Macroeconomics exam. Altogether he’s passed twelve AP exams while at Buchholz, all with the top score of 5. 

Shea credits his teachers for his success on so many AP exams, particularly the two perfect scores.

“Buchholz has a lot of great teachers and they’ve prepared me really well for the tests,” he said. 

Fellow senior Lucas Garcia, who has passed seven AP exams, earned his perfect score in AP Research, which requires students to write a paper on a topic of their choice. There were only 306 perfect AP Research scores internationally. Garcia’s paper focused on the relationship between religion and alternative medicine. He researched and wrote it primarily outside of school hours. 

“I felt like I wrote a good research paper, but I wasn’t exactly confident in how it would score,” he said. “So it was a nice surprise to get the perfect score.”

Katie He aced the AP Computer Science exam, one of only 369 students worldwide to do so. Although just a sophomore, she’s already passed six AP exams, also earning all 5’s. Even so, she says she was also surprised by her perfect score.

“I asked questions in class to fill my knowledge gaps and I reviewed content I wasn’t sure about before the test, and that really helped,” she said. “I thought I’d done pretty well, but I wasn’t expecting that I’d make no mistakes, because I usually make some.”

  • Congratulations to fine scholars! America needs smart, hard-working young people.

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