WESTFORD — A Westford Academy senior has received a perfect score on his Advanced Placement Chemistry exam.
Jack Whitman is one of 141,000 students who took the exam last spring. Whitman not only received a 5, the highest score on the exam, but is also one of only 23 students worldwide to earn every single point on the test.
Whitman attributes some of his success to his consistent studying habits.
“I certainly studied a lot. I also studied for a few hours a few days before the exam but realized I couldn’t change my fundamental understanding of it. It was just ‘execute and do the things I’ve done.’” he told WestfordCAT.
The son of a chemical engineer, Whitman says his mother always “playfully encouraged” him to study chemistry.
“We would do fun experiments when I was a kid,” he said.
He also attributes his success to his chemistry teacher, Timothy Knittel.
“A lot of it starts with the class and teacher. His style is very engaging. A lot of it is learning when it’s taught and not trying to cram it,” he said. “The labs were a lot of fun and made the class one of the most engaging that I’ve taken.”
Knittel says that Whitman is an “exceptional student.”
“Jack brings a contagious enthusiasm to all of his endeavors and does not seem to accept anything less than perfection,” Knittel told WestfordCAT in an email.
Whitman, a lifelong Westford resident, spends his summers teaching students how to code at CodeWiz and runs his own 3D printing business. He also runs varsity cross country, now serving as a captain of his team.
“I love leading the team and being with the group that’s there,” he said.
He says he stays motivated by “focusing on the positives.”
“It’s hard to put a word to it. I always feel like I need to put in work that I am proud of and that I can demonstrate my capabilities through every assignment and race,” he said.
He added, “I just think of it as another challenge and another thing to do.”
Whitman now sets his sights on college applications. He hopes to attend Princeton University, MIT, or the University of Notre Dame next fall.