Seniors Douglas Chen, Ashutosh Jindal and Prajit Ramachandran give appreciation to teacher Scott DeRuiter for full AP scores.
In the wee hours of the morning on July 8, many upperclassmen were sitting before their computers, periodically refreshing the page titled “Your Scores” on collegeboard.com. At 5 a.m., a scorecard appeared on their screens, with a number ranging somewhere between 1 and 5 for each AP test they took in May. Some students were relieved, others were disappointed. For almost all, the experience ended there.
But for three students at MVHS, the excitement had just begun.
Earlier this month, seniors Douglas Chen, Ashutosh Jindal and Prajit Ramachandran received letters from the College Board informing them that they were three students out of 19 worldwide that had correctly answered every multiple-choice question and earned the maximum scores on each free-response question on the AP Computer Science A Exam.
“They sent me a letter,” Ramachandran said. “I didn’t even know they do that, but I was like, ‘Wow.’”
Like Ramachandran, Jindal was not expecting the letter.
“It was definitely a surprise,” Jindal said. “I thought I would get a five because Mr. DeRuiter’s class prepared us so well, but … whenever I took a practice test, there would always be that one question I would miss.”
Both Jindal and Ramachandran credit a significant part of their achievements to the quality of AP Computer Science teacher Scott DeRuiter’s course.
“DeRuiter’s class really drilled us with the material,” Ramachandran said. “And if it hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t have gotten such a good score.”
Similarly, Jindal completed every homework assignment and he maintains that all of the practice was essential. He advises future test takers to follow his example.
“Just do all of the work,” Jindal said. “Follow directions, and you’re likely to do well.”
DeRuiter, for his part, was pleased to hear of their achievement. He is impressed by the fact that College Board actually took the time to write to the school.
“I was very proud of [my students],” DeRuiter said. “In my previous years as an AP teacher, I don’t think [College Board] has ever reported back to us.”
DeRuiter believes that it was the students’ hard work and talent that primarily contributed to their accomplishment.
“They’re really very extraordinary students, all three of them,” DeRuiter said. “Their results just reflect that.”