Shen senior among few to ace AP exam
Updated 9:50 p.m.
CLIFTON PARK Eric Wu is among 18 high school students in the world who can brag that they’re perfect — on the Advanced Placement computer science exam, at least.
Wu, a senior at Shenendehowa High School, took the exam last May and scored 80 points out of 80. That means he answered every multiple-choice question correctly and got full credit for each of the essays on the exam.
But Wu won’t brag, said his computer science teacher, Chris Hanley.
“He’s a very humble kid,” Hanley said. “He’s so understated about it.”
After Wu did so well on projects in Hanley’s class last year, “I told him, ‘We’re going to have to have Eric Wu Day’ ” this year to have Wu teach Hanley’s new students, the teacher said.
“He was like, ‘Oh, that would be embarrassing.’ ”
Wu was a standout even before he got into the AP computer science class, Hanley said. He hadn’t taken the introductory course that is a prerequisite to the more advanced one.
“Every once in a while, we’ll let someone skip the introductory class because they have all the knowledge,” his teacher said.
Wu had already taught himself everything he needed to know to get into the AP class, seeking out information on the Internet.
“He’s a very bright individual,” Hanley said. “His projects throughout the course were just top-notch.”
In all, 26,103 students took the computer science exam this year, and 18 got all the answers right.
The district hasn’t had anyone score perfectly on an AP exam since at least 2007, said high school Principal Donald Flynt, who has been with the school for that long.
Wu is applying to 10 colleges and universities, Flynt said: Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Princeton University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Northwestern University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stony Brook University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Elon University and the University of Michigan.
Advanced Placement exams are administered by the College Board in more than 100 countries and more than 4,000 colleges and universities worldwide recognize the scores in their admissions process.
Students who score high enough on the exams can earn college credit and sometimes skip taking certain classes when they get to college.
There are 34 AP exams offered in subjects ranging from language proficiency and the arts to math and the sciences.