What Is a Perfect SAT Score and How Do You Get It?

The SAT is one of the most important exams a student takes in their lifetime because it often determines what colleges they can get into. Not all SAT exams include the writing portion. That’s why there’s a variance. Getting a perfect score doesn’t mean you’ve got to nail every question. Actually, you can miss one or two of them.

You’ve still got to get nearly all of them correct, though. How you practice for the exam will have a huge impact on what you score. Proper preparation should get you most of the way there.

What Is a Perfect SAT Score Today?

Nowadays, things are a bit different. A perfect score today is 1600. There is still the reading and math portion on the same. But, there’s also a new writing portion to it as well. Each of the portions (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section, and Mathematics section) still has a maximum score of 800.

Most of the rules are still the same. You’ve got to get every question correct on the math portion. And, you can still miss 1 or 2 of the reading questions to get a perfect score.

The writing portion doesn’t need to be perfect, either. You’re still able to score an 800 even if you’ve missed 1 of the questions.

What Was a Perfect SAT Score Between 2005 and 2016?

Between 2005 and 2016, a perfect SAT score was 2400 where there was an additional essay section with a maximum score of 800.

What Was a Perfect SAT Score Before 2005?

A perfect score in 1980 would’ve been 1600. That’s because there wasn’t a writing portion to the exam at that time. All you had to do was the math and reading portion. Each of them had a maximum score of 800. Add them together, and you’d get your overall score.

On the math portion, you’d have to get every question correct. Otherwise, you wouldn’t get a perfect score on that portion.

When it came to the reading portion, you didn’t have to be perfect. You could miss 1 or 2 of the questions, and you’d still score an 800.

The College Board changed the scoring in 2005 to add a writing section to the SAT which was then removed in March 2016.

How to Get a Perfect SAT Score?

Getting a perfect score on the SAT can help you stand out during college admissions. That way, it’s easier for you to get accepted at your school of choice. If you’re aiming for a perfect score, you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you.

Simply being intelligent won’t be enough most of the time. Only a handful of students get a perfect score each year. You’ve got to score better than 99.9% of students to be a part of that exclusive group.

However, there are things you can do to improve your odds of getting a perfect score on the SAT. Like we said, proper preparation will make it more achievable. So, let’s look at what other people have done to get a perfect score. Following their examples should get us off on the right track.

Start Preparing Early

One of the best things you can do to improve your score would be to start preparing early. The earlier you start, the more time you’ll have to improve. Don’t try to cram all you studying in at the last minute. That’s definitely a recipe for disappointment.

If possible, hire someone who got a perfect score to tutor you. They’ll know what to expect when it comes to the examination. And, they’ll be able to teach you what helped them get perfect scores.

A lot of schools offer programs to prepare students for the SAT. These aren’t a bad idea, either. Even if you don’t have one available, you can still prepare though. Get one of the books made by the exam’s creators. They release a few of them each year.

Since the tests change, you’ll want to get the latest prep materials. They’ll be more applicable to your examination.

Another thing that’s helped a lot of people would be studying in a group. Studying by yourself can get a little lonely. If you’ve got a few friends to study with, you’ll feel more motivated. A lot of what it takes to score perfectly comes down to your mindset. Getting together with your friends while studying can help you remain positive, too.

Focus On Quality Over Quantity

Don’t just rush out and get the cheapest materials. Sometimes, people get overwhelmed whenever they’re choosing test prep resources. There are so many of them out there it can be tough to make a decision. Remember to focus on quality over quantity.

Studying something that’s not applicable to the exam isn’t going to help you score well on it. Instead, spend a little bit of money on quality prep materials. Then, use them as much as possible. Studying them should help you score as well as possible.

We’d recommend looking at the SAT’s website. They’ve got an up-to-date list of the best prep materials. Using them will always get you the best results. Some areas even have test prep centers. Most of them are registered with the SAT as well. So, you can trust they’ll prepare you properly.

Develop Good Study Habits

Of course, study habits are your best resource. Learning how to study effectively is a habit that will take you far in life. Simply staring at test prep materials isn’t going to do much for you. You’ve got to use them properly.

Start by scheduling a certain amount of time each day to devote to studying. The longer you’ve got to prepare, the more prepared you’ll be. Setting aside a few minutes at the end of the day would be your best bet. That way, you’re getting some exposure on a daily basis.

Whenever you’re studying, eliminate all distractions. It’s not always easy to focus on your study materials. You could use some apps on your phone to limit outside distractions. They’ll prevent notifications from popping up during your study periods.

Set a timer, too. Studying for too long isn’t a good idea. It’s better to study for short bursts. Typically, you’ll retain most of the stuff at the beginning and end of your study sessions. The stuff in the middle tends to get lost somewhere.

Try to study a little bit every day as well. The more often you’re exposed to the material, the more comfortable you’ll be during the exam. By the time you take the test, you should feel like it’s totally normal. It’ll be a lot less intimidating if you can do that.

Take Lots of Practice Exams

One of the best things you can do is take lots of practice exams. Make sure they’re made by the SAT’s creator, though. As long as you can do that, they’ll be great practice.

Don’t worry about how well you score on them. You’re actually looking to see where you’re making mistakes. After each exam, review your results critically. Pay attention to what you’re missing during each test run. These mistakes are what need the most work.

Ask yourself why you missed the question? You might’ve been rushing through that portion of the test. Or, you may have misread the answer. Either way, you’ve got to understand what’s causing you to miss the questions.

Once you’ve isolated the cause, you can drill them to perfection. Each time you take the test, focus on what you missed during the previous practice run. Continue drilling the practice exams until you’re getting all the questions correct.

Try to take more than one version of the practice tests, too. Your actual test won’t be made using the same questions. So, you don’t want to just memorize what’s on the practice exam. If you do that, you’ll be much less prepared than you think.

Also, try to develop good test-taking speed. Getting through the exam quickly can help during the real thing. Of course, you don’t want to rush through it. But, having some extra time can help you review your answers. You might catch a silly mistake that would’ve caused you to miss a question.

Strategize During the Actual Examination

Create a game plan for the actual test. That can help to minimize anxiety once you’re doing the real thing. A lot of students freeze once they’re taking it. Most of the time, that happens because they’re overwhelmed.

Are you better at a certain part of the test? If so, do that part first whenever you’re taking it. Starting on something you’re good at could help you feel more confident. Plus, it won’t take as long to finish. Then, you’ll have more time for the remaining portions.

Try to get through the exam pretty fast. Reviewing your answers at the end is crucial. A lot of well-prepared students miss things because they were in a rush.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Perfect SAT Score?

Today, a perfect SAT score is 1600 with a maximum score of 800 for each section (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section and Mathematics section). The SAT is one of the most important exams for college admissions.

What Is the Average SAT Score?

The average SAT score from the Class of 2020 was 1051. The average Reading score was 528 and the average Math score was 523. This average represents nearly 2.2 million test-takers from the United States.

How Many People Get a Perfect SAT Score?

A score in the 1400-1600 range comprises the top 7% of all test takers. Only about 1% of SAT test takers (about 22,000) get a score between 1550-1600 so fewer than 22,000 test-takers get a perfect score.

What Is the Lowest SAT Score?

The minimum SAT you can get is a 400 (200 for each section) if you don’t answer any questions.

What Celebrities Had Perfect SAT Scores?

There are a number of celebrities and other famous people who have perfect SAT scores. These include:

  • Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook Founder)
  • Bill Gates (Microsoft Founder)
  • Paul Allen (Microsoft Founder)
  • Will Smith (Actor)
  • Ben Affleck (Actor)
  • James Franco (Actor)

Several others have had near-perfect scores including: Bill O’Reilly, James Woods, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ben Stein, and Ke$ha.


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