Senior earns perfect score in AP Research

Seshan Jayapregasham is one of 111 students in the world to receive a perfect score on the AP Research Exam


photo by Family of Jayapregasham

Jayapregasham at one of the six locations for water samples.

AP Research, like other Advanced Placement classes, has a final exam at the end of the year. However this exam entails a 5,000-word research paper about a topic of the student’s choice and a 10-15-minute presentation regarding their paper, emulating a college dissertation.

Of the 9,640 students taking the exam across the world, only 111 students, 0.012 percent, received a perfect score on the test; including senior Seshan Jayapregasham.

“I put a lot of hard work into this,” Jayapregasham said. “It really is amazing [to be one of 111 people].”

While the typical AP exam preparation starts after spring break, the AP Research exam requires students to start right away. Jayapregasham began his research on the concentration of micro-plastics in different marine environments in early October, and throughout the year he continued to take data and research.

“I looked at the news and I was looking at the important events that were going on, and I ran across micro-plastics,” Jayapregasham said. “I wanted to apply that to my research and my interest in marine biology.”

Jayapregasham’s research consisted of taking samples from different marine environments, including the beach, marshlands, oyster reefs and other locations to gather different water samples. This data was gathered all in one day throughout the state of Florida, to prevent variables in the data.

“I took the water samples, filtered them and then analyzed them by looking through a microscope and keeping track of how much plastic was in each sample,” Jayapregasham said.

Another key part of Jayapregasham’s perfection was Dr. Linda Walters, a professor of Marine Sciences in the Biology department at the University of Central Florida, who guided him throughout the process.

Walters took him to the sites where he collected his data, and taught him the proper way to take samples, track and record data.

On top of AP Research, Jayapregasham is taking six other AP exams. This forces him to balance his time wisely for each class.

“It wasn’t about how good I did on them, it was just putting the practice in and preparing for all of them,” Jayapregasham said. “I try to focus evenly among all my AP classes, but this one took a little more focus.”

After high school, Jayapregasham will be majoring in Aerospace Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.