Sophomore Earns Perfect Score on AP Psychology Exam

It is with great pride that we announce that BASIS Independent McLean student Daria L., Class of 2023, earned a perfect score on the Advanced Placement Psychology exam—a feat so rare that in 2021, only 6 students out of over 262,000 taking the exam in the entire world achieved it. Daria’s results place her in the top 0.002% of test-takers worldwide.

“Daria’s success is extraordinary,” said Jason Shorbe, Head of School. “Her score reflects her energy and dedication for her studies, and the subject-expert guidance from her teacher, Mr. Robert Biemesderfer.”

Now a junior, Daria is in her fifth year as a student at BASIS Independent McLean. She says this score shows her that sustained hard work pays off, and attributes her ability to perform well on this high-stakes test to the school’s effective teaching of how to study and think under pressure. Though she was ready for the exam, she never expected to earn a perfect score.

“I felt I had done well, but a perfect score did not even cross my mind because they are so rare. Mr. B. prepared us well, so I walked into the test confident, but I did not expect to know the answer to every question,” said Daria. She says she was always curious to learn more in Mr. Biemesderfer’s AP Psychology class.

“Daria consistently asked detailed questions to really achieve complete mastery of the material,” said AP Psychology teacher Mr. Biemesderfer. “I am especially proud that she was able to achieve this remarkable feat in the midst of a global pandemic. Her hard work and dedication paid off with this tremendous result.”

For the majority of the 2020-2021 school year, BASIS Independent high school students learned in a hybrid model with two days in person, one day synchronous online, and two days asynchronous.

The AP Psychology Exam uses both multiple choice and free response questions to measure students’ knowledge of college-level psychological principles and their ability to apply their understanding of human behavior and mental processes. Daria answered all questions correctly, earning all 150 possible points and the highest score of 5.

“I like psychology because I am interested in how the mind works and why people make the decisions they do,” said Daria. “That is a very complicated topic, but I learned things such as theories of cognition, emotion, and development that helped me understand the human mind better.”