CHATHAM, NJ - Yulan Zhang, a junior at Chatham High School, earned a perfect score on the Advanced Placement Microeconomics Exam she took in the spring of 2015.

Zhang is one of only 54 students in the world to earn every point possible on the AP Microeconomics exam. 

Out of the 4.5 million AP Exams taken by 2.5 million U.S. public high school students in 2015, only 322 students earned every point possible on an AP Exam.

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“I believe that the best test preparation is putting your best efforts into the class throughout the year," Zhang said. "I did all the textbook readings and homework assignments, and I always made sure to understand the content to the best of my ability instead of simply memorizing lists of rules. I found Mr. (Stephen) Kmiec's class to be very helpful, as his explanations were clear and his assessments were similar to the AP test.

“I am very happy that I got a perfect score. However, I think the greater accomplishment was being able to learn more about economics through the class. Taking the AP Economics course has allowed me to broaden my understanding of economics as a whole, and it has assured me that it is something I would be interested in studying more in the future.”

AP Exams are based and reported on a 5-point scale, where a 5 is equivalent to a grade of A in the corresponding college course. Zhang received the top score of 5.

“We are very proud of Yulan for her dedication and commitment to her academics and congratulate her on earning a perfect score on her AP Microeconomics Exam,” CHS Principal Darren Groh said.

CHS Economics teacher Stephen Kmiec has worked with Zhang for the past two years.

“Yulan's perfect score on the 2015 Advanced Placement Microeconomics exam is a testament to both her desire and determination for academic excellence," Kmiec said. "Understanding that 60,619 students worldwide took this test last May, Yulan being one of fifty-four students to achieve perfection on such a difficult assessment is praiseworthy.

"Yulan is a truly gifted young woman who values her education and yearns for more. As her teacher, I witnessed first-hand her work ethic and ability to master difficult concepts and theories in class. In addition, her inquisitive nature led to challenging conversations and discussions in class, which directly benefited both myself and all of her classmates."

Advanced Placement courses are geared to mirror college-level courses.

“AP courses require hard work and focus on the part of students and their teachers,” Trevor Packer, senior vice president of AP and instruction at the College Board, said. “On behalf of the College Board, we congratulate the students and community members who make challenging coursework and focused practice a priority, and who motivate and encourage all students to capture their academic potential.”