By Liz Bowie
1:05 PM EST, December 5, 2013
Helen Gao is one of only 12 students in the world to earn a perfect score on the Advanced Placement Macro Economics test this past May.
The 18-year-old Princeton University freshman graduated from Dulaney High School in Baltimore County last June and says she is considering majoring in economics.
The College Board recently notified Dulaney and Gao's parents of her accomplishment.
"She is very humble young lady," said Phil Bressler, who taught her economics at Dulaney. To earn every point on the test, she had to answer 60 multiple choice questions correctly, as well as earn the maximum scores possible in the free-response section of the exam. The free response questions generally give students a question that has to be answered through graphing, according to Bressler. He said the questions have yes or no answers.
The achievement, now known by the current crop of economics students, has set up a competition in the class to see who can get a better score than Gao's score last years on the in class unit tests, Bressler said.
Students now ask him if they beat Gao's score.
Bressler said he has never heard of a student getting every point on an AP test in any subject.
Despite having taken AP economics, Gao decided she needed to take the introductory class in economics at Princeton. She wrote to Bressler early in the school year saying the economics course was really hard. "I felt really bad," Bressler said. "I thought, wow, I didn't do very well preparing her."
But, in fact, he did, Gao said. It's just that the class she is taking now is very different than the AP class, she said. "Mr. Bressler is an amazing teacher."
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