They say perfection is unattainable. Maybe, in life. Not in the SAT exam.
The College Board doesn’t track the data of perfect scorers in SAT. But, the percentile data released in 2015 shows that about 504 students obtained a perfect score that year.
Even though the SAT was redesigned in 2016, one can assume that the number of perfect scorers might be close to the same figure in the later years.
Before we discuss about the students who achieved the perfect score, let’s understand what it actually means.
What is a Perfect Score on the SAT?
SAT is scored out of 1600 marks. Getting a perfect score means, achieving this score.
There are two sections in SAT: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) and Math.
Each section has a total of 800 marks. The perfect score of 1600 is the sum of marks in these two sections.
The point to be kept in mind is that missing a couple of questions doesn't imply that you may not get a perfect score. That's because there is a difference between the raw score and the scaled score.
In the SAT Practice Test 1 released by College Board (https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/practice/full-length-practice-tests), the score 51 out of 52 questions in reading still gets you the perfect score of 800 in EBRW section.
In other words, getting a perfect score does not equate to getting a perfect raw score in each of the sections.
Again, there are variations within sections. For example, one can skip a question in the reading section and still score a perfect 800. In contrast, missing even a single question in Math proves costly.
However, if one is serious about that ‘elusive perfect score’ it is best not to get any questions wrong.
Read the article on Be your own guru for SAT with these self-assessment Tips!
Let’s see how these 4 Students got a Perfect Score on the redesigned SAT:
1. Maanasa Narayanamoorthyz
A 16-year-old Maanasa Narayanamoorthy is the latest to join the list of students with a perfect score of 1600 in SAT. Apart from SAT, she achieved a perfect score in the ACT.
Though Narayanamoorthy credits her achievement to sheer luck, she reveals that practice played an important role. About a month before the actual test, she took close to five or six practice tests. Apart from these tests, she solved several online tests which helped her understand where she needed to improve.
Narayanamoorthy’s advice for SAT aspirants is to find a test strategy that works the best for him/her. This is where she thinks taking up a lot of practice tests helps. According to her, a lot of her friends gained from attending prep classes and taking help from other sources. She credits her success to her teachers.
2. Dhruv Gaur
In his first attempt at the exam, Dhruv Gaur achieved a perfect score in SAT last year. A senior at Lakeview Academy at that time, Gaur did not just restrict himself to books but participated in other extracurricular activities.
Gaur says it is because of perseverance and patience that he was able to accomplish this impressive feat.
A month before the exam, Gaur had allotted 30 minutes for SAT preparation every day. On weekends, he attempted the practice tests to know where he should focus on in the coming week.
For Gaur, it is all about preparation. According to him, through practice one starts to see patterns and areas where one needs to improve.
3. Jake Chanan
A senior at Deerfield High School, Jake Chanan is another student who scored a perfect 1600 on the SAT last year. Prior to SAT, Chanan had other achievements to his list. At DHS, he was a Mathlete, the Scholastic Bowl Team Captain, and a Baseball Pitcher.
According to him, the lessons he learned at Baseball Diamond prepped him mentally for the test. He says that getting worked up and being emotional doesn’t help in life or in baseball. He believes that being nervous usually bring out the worst in people and being relaxed helped him ace this exam.
At the same time, he appreciates all the help he received from his teachers and parents to succeed in the exam.
4. Blaise Fangman
This year in May, Blaise Fangman, a Junior at Eastern Iowa High School earned a perfect score on the SAT exam. Academic success is not something new to Fangman. He has a near-perfect score of 35 on his ACT.
One of the things that students really worry about, before taking the exam is the nerves. However, for Fangman, it was the opposite. He was concerned that he was too relaxed while attempting the test.
Though he says that he did not prepare for the test, teachers who know him are not surprised about his achievement. According to them, Fangman has an ability to give his best to any given task.
Also, Fangman is an all-rounder. He plays Football, Basketball, Soccer, and baseball. He is a part of the Student Council, National Honors Society, and Robotics.
Should you take PSAT before SAT to get a perfect score?
Read this article to know more about it: The PSAT Tests Before The SAT
What lessons can we learn from the perfect scorers?
#1 Be relaxed about the exam:
As one of the perfect scorers mentions, being nervous only bring out the worst in us. SAT is mostly about handling the nerves and bringing your best to the table.
#2 Take practice tests:
Practice tests help us know our strengths and weaknesses. Without this knowledge, it is difficult to move from where we are to where we want to be in terms of the score. Also, simulated tests get us into the mental zone required to do well on the test. Test-taking skills such as time management and stress management can only be learned through these tests.
#3 Take help when needed:
While it is not impossible to crack this exam without any help from prep courses and teachers, it is easier to do so with guidance. It saves time as well as the effort required to understand what is needed to score well on the test.
#4 Have a life:
All the students mentioned above were actively involved in some of the other extra-curricular activities. Having other interests and hobbies help us relax and build a holistic personality needed for the test. So, scoring well on the SAT doesn’t necessarily mean being bookish and boring.
#5 Finally, have a support group:
All the perfect scorers credit their success to family and friends. SAT can be mentally draining. Having someone to emotionally support you in this journey can make this less stressful leading to a better score.
So, is it difficult to score 1600 on the SAT? Yes.
But is it impossible? No! But regardless of where you stand right now, it is a good idea to aim for that perfect 1600.
As they say, chasing perfection doesn’t hurt. In fact, it can help us catch excellence in the process.
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