AP Perfection: CB West senior combines love of reading and music

For Asher Mills, the key to earning a perfect score on his AP® English Language and Composition Exam can be summed up inasher mills two words.

Granola bar.

“That’s what I had for breakfast that day,’’ says the Central Bucks West High School senior, who took the test last May. “That’s going to be my whole diet now.’’

Advanced Placement, or AP Exams, are scored on a scale of 1 to 5. Asher not only received the top score of 5 on the AP English Language and Composition Exam, but he was also one of only 22 students in the world to earn every point possible and achieve a perfect score.

He was also one of three students from the Central Bucks School District to receive a perfect score during the AP Exams. Over the next few issues, the CBSD Bulletin will be profiling those students.

“This outstanding accomplishment is likely a direct reflection of the top-quality education being offered at Central Bucks West High School,’’ says Trevor Packer, head of the Advanced Placement Program. “We applaud Asher's hard work and the AP teacher responsible for engaging students and enabling them to excel in a college-level course.’’

A voracious reader and writer, Asher walked out of the room that day not feeling so great about the test.  “I said to all my friends, ‘I bombed that’ and I just moved on.’’

It might have been the only thing he got wrong all day.

The award, he said, is an offshoot of a life of reading and writing -- anytime, anywhere. “Sometimes my mom would have to yell at me,’’ he says. “Because we would be like at an airport or something, and I would be walking and reading, and I would run into someone or something.

“I wrote all the time as a kid. I would write short stories. I would write little novels. It is my passion.’’

Not his only one, though. Asher hopes the AP award will kick open some doors that might have been half-closed before. He’s waiting to hear from the University of Pennsylvania, his first choice, and if he gets in he plans to study law – and music, through the Recording Academy’s Grammy U program. During the Covid-19 lockdown, Asher learned to play piano and guitar, and has been singing and writing his own songs for years.

“I kind of had this existential crisis during Covid,’’ he says. “Like, ‘Who am I?’ I always have envisioned myself making the songs that my favorite artists make. I realized that's kind of what I really want to do.’’

He’s even started a music club at Central Bucks West.

“Music is like my life now,’’ he says. “Although I still write a lot too.’’

And he doesn’t forget about those granola bars, either.