Getting a perfect score on the SAT seems like the stuff of legends. A very small percentage of test-takers–less than 1%–achieve this feat. A perfect SAT score increases your chances of being admitted to Ivy League school and other top universities, and it can supplement a weaker GPA.
With enough effort, it’s possible to get a perfect score on SAT. In this post, we’re going to break down exactly what you need to do and need to know to get a perfect score. Even if you’re not aiming for 1600, you can still use this advice to improve your SAT score and achieve your goals.
What’s a good SAT score? If you’re trying to figure out your SAT score goal for admissions, you’ll want to look at the SAT averages for the schools you’ll apply to. also Get an overview of what a good SAT score is and how to improve your score. What’s a good SAT score goal for this year admissions?
What Is a Good SAT Score?
One of the first things you’ll learn about the SAT is that there is no “perfect” score. Because of this, there isn’t one best SAT score to aim for.
However, as with any standardized test, there are some recommended measures of average performance. To break things down, take a look at what some top college admissions officials have to say about SAT scoring.
“Standardized tests like the SAT are flawed, not because the number of questions is off but because the way the tests are designed.”
-Kevin Kruger, CEO & Founder of the College Board
Essentially, the SAT questions are created to be relatively easy to answer in a short amount of time. However, when it comes to the writing section, the average score isn’t as consistent.
The highest possible SAT score you can earn is 1600 points.
Wondering how to earn such a high score? Dive into this comprehensive article and use it as your one-stop destination to know about the most proven hacks to crack the highest SAT score.
Let’s look by turning the table.
How is the SAT scored?
Before we head into the scoring pattern for the SAT, we need to have a clear understanding of the SAT raw score to the composite score conversion chart.
The SAT score structure gives you a few different ways to look at your score, but the way that most colleges and universities look at it is by looking at your total score and your section scores.
The SAT has two sections, one called Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and the other simply called Math. The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section score is determined by how well you do on the Reading Test and the Writing and Language Test; the Math section score is determined by how well you do on a Math test that has a no-calculator and calculator-based portion.
Each section is scored from 200 to 800. The total score is a sum of the section scores, and ranges from 400 to 1600. Because the highest score that anyone can get is a 1600, this is a perfect score.
|Raw Score||Reading Test Score||Writing Test Score||Math Scaled Score|
Till 2005, the SAT included Critical Reading and Mathematic Sections, both scored from 200 to 800. According to that the highest SAT score possible was 1600 can also be said as a Perfect SAT Score.
Later in 2005, the College Board thoroughly renewed the SAT for the 2005-06 academic year. A Writing Section (scored from 200 to 800) with grammar questions and an essay was added to the reframed SAT format. During 2005-16, the highest SAT score possible was 2400.
Then in 2016, again the College Board launched the newest version of the SAT. The latest test features new content and a revised format. There are currently four sections: the Reading Test, the Writing & Language Test, the Math Test, and an Essay (optional).
What is the highest SAT score on EBRW?
The highest score for the SAT involves two sections that are merged into Evidence-Based Reading and Writing.
The scoring methodology for EBRW is a tad bit more complicated as compared to the rest of the sections. EBRW is split into sub-sections: Reading and writing. Each sub-section is scored on a scale of 10-40, with 40 being the highest score. This score is, in turn, converted to a scaled EBRW score of 800. To achieve the perfect score of 800 in EBRW, the candidate is required to earn 80 points as a combination of his/her reading and writing scores.
What is the highest SAT score for Math?
SAT Math (that includes arithmetic, algebra 1 and 2, geometry, and trigonometry) has 58 questions in total. To achieve the perfect score of 800, one must answer all the 58 questions correctly.
In both sections, will earn 1 point for each correct answer. There is no reduction in points for incorrect answers.
The Essay (optional) is scored separately from the two main sections, so 1600 is maximum.
College Board’s most recent statistics show only 7% of test-takers scored between 1400 and 1600 in 2018. And the SAT Score National Averages for the Class of 2018.
|ERW||Math||Total SAT score|
The College Board reports that out of 2.1 million students took the SAT in 2018 and only 7% of the total received a perfect score.
Steps to Getting a Perfect SAT Score
1. Identify your weaknesses
Everyone has a test-taking weakness. What sets perfect scorers apart from the rest is that they learned how to overcome their weaknesses to achieve their goals.
You’ll need to identify your weaknesses before you can develop strategies to overcome them, which means you’ll need to spend time analyzing your score on a previous SAT or using one of the practice tests that College Board provides. Analyze every question that you missed and why you missed it so that you know what to avoid in the future. Identify patterns of mistakes based on a variety of factors, like the question type and how confident you felt answering that questions.
Some common types of weaknesses include:
- Spending too much time on a single question–”getting stuck”
- Rushing through questions
- Misreading a question
- Not knowing an academic concept
Most of us are blind to our own weaknesses, but to get a perfect score you have to be brutally honest with yourself. Give yourself plenty of time to be thorough about this analysis. You may want to do this over the course of three sittings, one each for the Reading, Writing and Language, and Math test.
While you can do this analysis yourself, it’s a lot easier when you have an outside perspective from an expert. That’s why CollegeVine’s SAT Tutoring starts with a diagnostic that allows our expert tutors to determine exactly what you need to do to improve. The diagnostic allows you to quickly move past this step and get to Step 2 of our process for getting a perfect score.
2. Develop strategies to overcome your weaknesses
Once you understand what your SAT weaknesses are, you’ll likely be able to answer this question: why do you make the mistakes that you make?
Here’s a common mistake pattern: you’re taking the SAT and you spend time being stumped by a question. You then realize you’ve spent too much time on the question, and now you’re flustered and you rush through the next five questions to make up for it, committing careless mistakes as you go.
Pretty familiar, right? Most of us have done this on a test before, whether it was the SAT or for a class. In this case, the initial mistake was spending too much time being stumped by one question. The solution is to develop a strategy for being decisive about when to move on to other questions so you don’t rush other questions and make careless mistakes. It could be as simple as making a snap judgment about whether as question is easy or difficult to solve, and solving it if it seems easy or returning to it later if it seems difficult.
Here are some example solutions for the other weaknesses listed above.
- Misreading a question: This often happens on the Reading and the Writing and Language Tests. As a form of practice, try rephrasing the questions on a practice SAT and answering your new question. This will help you make sure that you understand each question’s nuances before you answer the questions.
- Not knowing an academic concept: Sometimes you don’t understand a concept thoroughly or are able to recognize when the test is drawing upon knowledge of that. In this case, you’ll need to teach yourself the concept with online resources, materials from your local library, or asking a trusted teacher from school for additional assistance.
3. Create a consistent study schedule
After analyzing your score from a diagnostic and seeing how much you’ll need to improve, you’ll get an idea for how much time you need to set aside for working on your weaknesses. The farther your current score is from 1600, the more time you need to devote to studying before you take the SAT for real.
Why is that? Many students don’t put in as much time as they need to during their self-guided studying because they’re focusing on too many different aspects of the test. You’ll want to create a schedule that allows you to brainstorm strategies that might help you overcome any test weaknesses, and then time to practice and refine those strategies.
To create a consistent schedule, look at what your current time obligations are. How much time do you spend in extracurricular activities, working a part-time job, or on homework? You’ll want to give yourself enough time to keep up with your other responsibilities, and schedule times when you can devote to studying. You may need to rearrange other responsibilities, at least temporarily, to make space for your studying.
Once you’ve established when you’re studying, you may want to connect getting a 1600 to a bigger goal. You won’t stay motivated for very long if getting a 1600 isn’t tied to one of your values, like “I want to go to my dream school” or “I want to make my family proud.” Remind yourself of why you’re putting in this work every time you sit down to study.
4. Test and refine your strategies based on practice
There is no one strategy that will work for everyone. You’ll need to put your strategies to the test to make sure they’re giving you the results you want. You’ll want to work on one weakness at a time, maybe two, instead of trying to focus on everything at once.
As you work on improving one weakness, your score will go up predictably. As you saw in the earlier example, by being decisive about when to move on to another question you could eliminate a tendency to rush and avoid some careless mistakes. Make sure that this strategy works consistently before you move onto another weakness.
You will find that some strategies work really well, and you’ll try some that don’t work for you. This is why having a growth mindset will benefit you; instead of getting hung up on a recommended strategy that didn’t work, you’ll just scrap that one and try a new approach and see if it works better for you.
5. Continue to analyze your weaknesses and the test structure to further improve.
Overcoming your weaknesses takes work, and is a cyclical process. Once you’ve gotten the hang of one strategy, you’ll need to go back and do the same process with a new one, until you’re at the point where you’re getting every question right.
While you may have analyzed the test structure a bit in the first step, it’s often more helpful to do it at this point in the process. Why? Because you’ll naturally begin to see that you often miss a particular type of question that is unrelated to test jitters or not knowing the material, and being able to spot the questions that trip you up just by reading it gives you the advantage of paying close attention to them.
6. Use the SAT Practice Tests to assess how well your strategy works. When it comes to the real test, you’ll need to be able to identify the question type so you know which strategy to apply. Often, you’ll use a combination of strategies, such as underlining key phrases in the question and drawing upon an academic concept you learned to find the correct answer.
Once you are consistently getting every question right, you can be ready to expect 1600 on test day.
With enough self-discipline, anyone can get a 1600 SAT score. By identifying what your test weaknesses are, developing strategies to overcome those weaknesses, and putting your strategies into practice, you’ll be on your way to an improved SAT score.
The Benefits of a Good SAT Score
Given the huge numbers of applications and scores we have, it can be hard to know how to set realistic SAT score goals.
However, there are some clear benefits to having a high SAT score.
Firstly, the higher your SAT score, the more of a competitive advantage you’ll have when applying to elite schools.
Because the SAT is a college admissions tool, there’s an incentive for students to do as well as possible on the test, as there’s potential for future scholarships and financial aid.
This means that although you might not have the most inspirational reason to work hard and increase your SAT score, it will pay off for you down the road.
If your goal is to get into a top college, you can use this competitive advantage to your advantage.
The last item you’ll want to know is what to do with the scores when you get them. The most recent version of the SAT offers a number of options for students to use in the application process. For some students, the old SAT is too much of a hindrance and they decide to do without it altogether. For those students, some companies will make a (very) small charge to test students. There are other options as well.
That being said, most students are interested in the scores because they’re submitted to colleges so they’re going to use them in the application process. That’s when you have to decide what to do with them.
If you’re applying to the school of your choice, you’ll want to use the SAT scores as part of your admissions criteria.