Ava Aerhart earns perfect score on AP Art exam, one of only 343 students worldwide


By Krisha Patel

AP exams are one of the most stressful parts of the end of the year for students. Many require students to either take a test at the end of the class or submit a portfolio to be scored on a 1-5 scale. Rigorous scoring guidelines make it very difficult for students to score a five. However, not only did one of Methacton’s students, Ava Arehart, score a five on the AP Drawing Exam, but she was also one of only 343 students in the world to receive all of the points possible on the exam, resulting in a perfect score!

In the AP Drawing Exam, students must submit their work to be scored. Fifteen pieces of art have to be created throughout the class, all which need to be connected to a theme designated by the students. Writing submissions attached to the art allows the students to elaborate on the meanings of their pieces. As the end of the school year approaches, the students pick five of their best pieces to be scored by several judges. As one can imagine, it is quite challenging to have all of the judges agree that a piece of art fulfills all of the requirements to get all of the points.

Ava’s inspiration for her piece came from her perspectives on mental health. She feels as though mental health is always discussed, but the feeling of it is sometimes lost. Ava used drowning as a metaphor to show how it feels when everyone else around you seems perfectly fine when you’re not. She wanted to evoke a sense of loneliness among the viewers.

Looking back at the drawings now, Ava mused that she should have made the girl look less like herself. She said that when sketching, she drew sort of a “default” person that popped into her head, something that most artists tend to do, and that default person happened to look like her. She feels that it may hinder the point of her art. She wants people to be able to resonate with it and relate to what she is trying to portray.

Something that challenged Ava was the workload. Fifteen finished pieces by the end of the year can be a difficult deadline to meet, especially with the pressure of trying to meet the requirements of the scorers. She managed to make the requirements less overwhelming by using a loophole. She ended up submitting 12 pieces and three progress images, which are images of the drawings while they are still in progress. She explained that, to her, it is difficult to tell when she is completely finished with a piece. She is a perfectionist, and it’s easy to feel like something is missing, whether it’s in one of her pieces for school or a more personal piece.

Art is something that has always been in Ava’s life. From drawing on the walls to sketching in her notebook, she says, “It’s always been something that I did.” She describes art class as something that has helped her by giving her an outlet and guiding her to push her knowledge and skill.

See her art below!