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SANTA ANA ( — A Santa Ana high school student has earned bragging rights for receiving a perfect score on the advanced placement Spanish language and cultural exam.

Noeli Zarate, a senior at Santa Ana High School, has been studying French, but speaks Spanish at home.

“I’ve had smart students but never to achieve a perfect score on the exam? No, never,” said Lizette Osle, an advanced placement teacher.

Zarate is now one of 55 teenagers in the world to receive such a score, earning every possible point.

“I didn’t walk in thinking I was going to get a perfect score,” said Zarate, who has a 4.6 GPA. “I don’t hold myself that much in high regard, but I do think that I am confident and that I am capable of doing many things. I see myself as a driven individual.”

Zarate is ranked number one in her senior class. She has applied to several universities, including UCLA, Berkeley, Harvard and Pomona College.

For the first time, the 17-year-old is taking Spanish at Santa Ana High, another AP course.

She’ll be taking another AP exam in Spanish literature and culture this coming May.

Her teacher has never seen a perfect score and is hoping that Zarate will be the one.


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