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Only 12 Students Worldwide Received a Perfect Score on the AP Calculus Exam. This L.A. Teen Explains Why He Was One of Them


"Put in the effort. Something good will come out of it."

A 17-year-old Los Angeles high school student was one of only 12 students in the world to achieve a perfect performance on the Advanced Placement Calculus AB exam last year, according to a news release from the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Cedrick Argueta from Abraham Lincoln High School in Lincoln Heights was one of 302,532 high school students who took the exam last year, which tested on the fundamental theories of calculus through a series of difficult multiple-choice problems and free-response questions, according to KTLA-TV.

Argueta's perfection, which resulted in a five-out-of-five, the test's highest possible core, showed that his hours upon hours of studying did not go to waste.

"He came to my Honors Algebra 2 as a freshman kid. He was a bit shy, but as soon as I got some of his work, I saw what a bright kid he was," said Argueta's teacher, Anthony Yom, according to KABC-TV. "Five [score] was kind of expected. We kind of joked anything below five would have been a disappointment."

Yom and Argueta worked countless hours together to prepare the senior for the AP test, and both were aiming for that five score, but neither one expected that Argueta would ace the test.

Argueta's mother, a nurse, and his father, a maintenance worker at a convalescent home, reported that he spent hours studying for the exam — even up to three hours every day after school with Yom during the weeks before the exam.

"It’s amazing. I’m so, so proud of him,” Argueta's mother told KTLA.

Argueta, who intends to study rocket science at the California Institute of Technology, hopes that other high school students can be inspired by his work ethic to achieve things that may seem impossible.

"As long as you try, keep trying and trying, put in the effort, something good will come out of it." Argueta told KABC.

Follow Kathryn Blackhurst (@kablackhurst) on Twitter

Front-page image via Shutterstock

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