The best score top top the sat is a 1600. Out of the 2 million students who take the check every year, only around 500 acquire the highest feasible SAT score. This elusive perfect score catapults you to the peak of high school scholastic achievement and also can it is in a huge boost to your college applications.

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I score perfect scores ~ above the SAT. I in reality scored two perfect scores—a 1600 in 2004 when I remained in high school, and also a 2400 in in march 2014 when I took it ten years later.

Most that the advice out there around how to gain a perfect score come from civilization who didn"t gain perfect scores. In this exclusive article, I"ll be break down exactly what the takes, and the ruthless approaches I used to obtain a perfect score.

Quick Disclaimer

Let me begin with a few disclaimers.

I"m a humble person, and also I don"t like talking about my accomplishments without good reason. I understand a many you are looking come score the highest possible SAT score possible, so I"ve created this guide to aid you acquire there. So everything I speak here, please take it as advice native a mentor passionate to help, no as a braggart strutting his stuff.

Also, a last note: i co-founded the agency—we create online SAT/ACT prepare programs that it is adapted to you and your strengths and also weaknesses. I desire to emphasize that you perform NOT should buy a complete prep routine to acquire a good score. If you follow the values below and are an extremely driven, you"ll do just fine.

I carry out believe, however, that is the best satellite program easily accessible right now, specifically if you uncover it tough to organize her prep and also don"t understand what to study. I"ll describe decisions we made in developing the routine to flesh out values I talk about below.

What Perfect satellite Scores look at Like

For full transparency, allow me show you my personal score report. This is a screenshot indigenous my university Board satellite Organizer:


I take it the 2 SATs 10 year apart. The 2004 test was in an old layout of the SAT and was scored out of 1600. Ns took the brand-new test in 2014 and also scored a 2400.

(Yes, ns took the SAT together an adult. Besides acquiring funny looks native high institution students, I wanted to go through the endure anew so i knew what mine students in ~ were going through.)

So that you have the right to see in bleeding detail how I acquired the 2400, I"ve attached my unofficial detailed score report from the college Board. You deserve to see precisely how many questions ns missed and read my essay (my handwriting can use part work).


Using mine score report together an example, let"s examine what the takes to acquire a perfect satellite score. When this score report talks about the Old 2400 SAT, the values are tho the same. In the existing SAT, there room still Reading, Math, and Writing sections, and also you still have to do exceptionally well on lock to obtain a perfect score.

What that Takes to gain a 1600 on the SAT

At the top finish of the scoring range, the satellite is not forgiving. You have to aim because that perfection.

Specifically, here"s what you need to do in every section:

In Reading, you deserve to only miss out on 1 or 2 questions. This counts on the curve for the test. It"s best to target for lacking 0 or 1 question. In my test, i missed 1 analysis passage question.In Math, you require to gain every question correct. No question about it. The curve is unforgiving for Math. Miss out on 1 question and you won"t gain an 800 ~ above this section.In Writing, you can sometimes miss out on 1 question at most. In part tests, you have to obtain a perfect Writing and also Language score to have a shot in ~ an 800.

Essentially, you must aim for perfection throughout your prep. If you"re consistently absent one or an ext questions on every section, you"re not performing consistently enough to be safe for a 1600. We"ll go into more detail around this below.

If you desire to check my explanation here, inspect out the College plank score charts for official SAT practice tests.

One last concern to answer prior to my really advice:

But Wait...Are You simply Smart? will This Advice work-related for Me?

You may have actually heard about top scoring college student who just rolled out of bed, strolled come the satellite test center, and scored the highest possible SAT score without any prep.

This was no me. Some human being like the above may in truth exist, but they"re rare. In high school, ns was normally stronger in ~ math—I participated in math and also science competitions—and I might reliably gain 800"s on the math section.

But my reading and writing essential work. When I began off, i consistently acquired in the 700 range. Now, this is currently pretty high, but it wasn"t sufficient for the optimal schools i was aiming for. I just wasn"t that accustomed come the SAT analysis passages and also the types of inquiries they asked.

It take it a many of difficult work for me come learn just how the sat works, just how it tries come trick students, and also how to uncover a strategy that worked for myself for this reason I can reliably obtain top scores. My co-founder in ~ had a similar story.

Since I"m older, I additionally have the advantage of see whether mine methods operated over time, or just on the SAT. Emphatically, the principles listed below have functioned throughout my scholastic career.

Here"s one more example. Together an undergraduate in college, i planned come attend medical school, therefore I had to take it the MCAT (Medical college Admissions Test). In my view, this is a lot harder test 보다 the SAT. That covers many an ext topics: general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, biology, and also verbal reasoning. Furthermore, you"re contending with pre-med"s throughout the nation, people who are normally driven and competing to gain into clinical school, not simply the average high college student.

When I started studying because that the MCAT, i scored about the short 30"s. The test is scored out of 45, and also it"s curved very aggressively. Again, this was already well above average, however it wasn"t enough for the top medical schools ns was going for.

So I functioned hard. I put in the time, extended all the subjects I required to know, and also was ruthless around my prep. In the an extremely end, I scored a 44:


As the experimentation organization notes, this is in the 99.9 percentile rank, through 0.0% afford this score (this figure is rounded). I had actually multiple clinical advisers phone call me that they had actually never watched a score this high before, and there could indeed it is in fewer than three human being per year—or none at all—who get a 44. Scoring this high certainly helped me obtain into the MD-PhD regimen at Harvard medical School and MIT.

I wish i were talented sufficient to get these test scores normally without hundreds of hrs of tough work. That would be the cooler thing to say. However it wasn"t true because that me, and also it most likely won"t it is in true for you either.

With this foundation laid, here"s the meat that what I desire to say:

What perform You need to Do to gain a Perfect 1600 sat Score?

In broad strokes, the takes a lot of of tough work, a most smart work, and also some lot of luck.

But you"ve heard this prior to so just this alone isn"t helpful. Let"s dig deeper.

You need to want it. Really, really want it.

You need the motivation to press yourself. You need to put sat prep as one of your peak priorities in life, overcoming the town hall YouTube or hanging the end at the mall.

In the darkest of days, as soon as you take a exercise test and drop 100 point out inexplicably, and also your parents room freaking out, and you"re concerned you"re never obtaining into your peak college, you require the within fire to not gain depressed. Instead, you must pull you yourself up and also objectively rip apart her mistakes so you don"t repeat them.

People don"t often point out motivation, but in my see this is one of the most essential pieces that distinguish successful people from not, in all elements of life. It"s much an ext important than simply being smart.

Make a perform of all the factors you want to acquire a perfect score. Compose them down. Rigid at them once you lose faith.

Want to obtain into Harvard or an Ivy organization school? want to comprise for a bad GPA? want to prove to her parents that you deserve to beat their expectations? desire to complete with her friends? desire to present up your 3rd-grade teacher who claimed you would never ever amount come anything?

That"s all good. Anything the drives friend from within is a valid reason to job-related hard.

You"ll need this to combat procrastination and laziness. You"ll require this to press yourself to execute every strategy ns tell friend below. If you"re not motivated, it"s just too straightforward to brush beside failure and also be sloppy about your weaknesses.

In my an individual case, past the scholastic benefits, I assumed the satellite was a dumb test the was impeding my life. I was upset at test writers that devised tricks come fool students. Ns approached it favor a video game—the SAT and also the College plank were bosses the I necessary to dominate. Plus, my brother had a near-perfect score, and I wanted to one-up him.

Write under all the factors you want a perfect score and also use it come fuel you yourself every examine session.


Exclusive Bonus: We"ve created a popular totally free guide ~ above 5 advice to improving your satellite score by 160+ points. Acquire a totally free download here.

Step 1: execute High-Quality Practice and Avoid Low-Quality Materials

The satellite is a weird test. It"s unequal tests that you"ve taken transparent school. It presents an easy concepts in bizarre ways. This is basically how the university Board renders the check hard— it takes principles most students have seen before, twists them to it is in unfamiliar, and also counts ~ above students to screw up.

To excel at this test, you need the highest quality practice materials. Since the SAT has questions that room twisted in a specific way, you should train in exactly the way they"re twisted so you find out the patterns.

As we"ve said before, by much the finest practice product comes straight from the College plank in the type of main SAT practice tests. When I to be studying, i devoured every SAT exercise test I could find. I took over 15 full-length exercise tests and was ruthless about finding mine mistakes, together I"ll talk about soon.

Just favor the mantra about your diet and also body, what you placed in is what you acquire out. Trash in, trash out. If girlfriend train yourself on concerns that don"t reflect what"s top top the SAT, you"re walking to find out the not correct patterns.

Using bad materials is favor training because that baseball by playing tee-ball. Yes, if you spend 1000 hrs practicing tee-ball, you"ll be a tee-ball pro. But when who pitches a actual baseball in ~ you, you"re going to freak out—"why is the sphere traveling therefore fast? Why"s it so nearby to mine face? Ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod."

And climate you win out.


To be frank, most the the books available on the sector are trash. They boast around having a most questions, but they"re written by civilization who aren"t truly specialists on the test. This method the questions don"t test principles in the very same way; the answer are periodically ambiguous; the inquiries don"t cheat you in the same means the sat does.

In my agency, we hire only SAT full-scorers and 99 percentile scorers to craft our hundreds of test questions. You need to have actually mastered the test to really know the intricacies of exactly how the satellite works. We"ve turned far dozens of applicants who scored listed below a 1520 because they yes, really don"t understand the test fine enough.

If you favor studying through books, here"s my perform of the height SAT prep books available. There are some pretty high-quality publications written by true experts, though they can gain pricey—buying the optimal five books will price you at the very least a hundreds dollars.

Collect good prep materials and study using only these.

Step 2: focus on top quality First, quantity Second

Now you have a the majority of materials.

Some students focus hard on acquiring through every single page of every publication they have. They can not know why they"re examining what they"re studying, yet at least they sure put in a the majority of time and also effort!

This is the wrong idea. Girlfriend don"t desire to pound your head against the wall and usage a brute force approach.

Improving your satellite score is about quality first, and also quantity second.

It"s for this reason tempting to just focus on getting work done, due to the fact that that"s the easy part. Knowledge your weaknesses, as we comment on below, is what takes actual energy and insight.

Think about it this way—let"s speak you"re discovering to litter a football through a perfect spiral. You deserve to pick increase a football and, by trial and error, if you throw it 1,000 times, you"ll make part progress.

Now imagine friend have brand-new England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady standing by your side. You litter the sphere once, and he corrects your technique. Move your foot earlier this way, have your hand follow a particular motion, and follow through. You try again, and it"s means better.

In cram 50 balls this way, I"m specific you"d finish up doing far better than 1,000 by yourself.

I"m not saying that Tom Brady is a tutor, and you must have a tutor. You have the right to be your very own Tom Brady, and we discuss listed below how to perform that. But you need to make sure you acquire the many out of her studying and make the as effective as possible.


You need your own SAT Tom Brady.

Step 3: be Ruthless around Understanding your Mistakes

On the soil level, once you"re actually studying, this is by much the most important means you"ll succeed over various other students.

EVERY wrong you make on a check happens because that a reason. If girlfriend don"t understand precisely why girlfriend missed the question, you will make the mistake over and also over again.

If you"re performing in ~ the 700 level, you"re missing around 10% come 15% of all questions. This method you have actually some continual errors that are holding ago your score.

This is what you have to do:

On every exercise test or question collection that girlfriend take, mark EVERY inquiry that you"re also 20% unsure about.When you grade her test or quiz, testimonial every single question that you marked, and also every incorrect question. This way even if friend guessed a concern correctly, you"ll make certain to evaluation it.In a notebook, write down the gist of the question, why you missed it, and what you"ll perform to protect against that failure in the future. Have actually separate part by subject and also sub-topic (reading—passages vs sentence completion, writing—sentence errors vs enhancing paragraphs).

It"s NOT sufficient to simply think about it and move on. It"s NOT enough to simply read the price explanation.

You have to think HARD about why you specifically failed on this question.

By acquisition this structured approach to your mistakes, you"ll now have a to run log that every question you missed, and also your reflection on why.

Everyone who desires to acquire to an 800 ~ above a ar has different weaknesses from you. It"s essential that you uncover for yourself what those are.


No excuses as soon as it comes to your mistakes.

Go Deeper—WHY go You miss It?

Now, what are some typical reasons that you let go a question? Don"t simply say, "I didn"t understand this material." always take it one step further—what especially did friend miss, and what perform you have to improve in the future?

Here space some instances of common reasons you miss a question, and also how you take it the evaluation one action further:

Content: i didn"t find out the ability or expertise needed come answer this question.

One action further: What details skill carry out I have to learn, and also how will I learn this skill?

Incorrect Approach: i knew the content, yet I didn"t know just how to method this question.

One step further: just how do I resolve the question, and also is there a general ascendancy that I need to know for the future?

Wrong Guess: i was stuck in between two prize choices, and I guessed wrong.

One step further: Why could I not remove one of the last answer choices? understanding the correct answer now, exactly how I can eliminate it? go this imply a strategy I have the right to use for the future?

Careless Error: ns misread what the concern was asking for or fixed for the not correct thing

One step further: Why did ns misread the question? What need to I do in the future to avoid this?

Does this it seems ~ hard? that is—you have to think hard around why you"re fall short and also understand you yourself in a means that nobody else can. But couple of students actually put in the effort to execute this analysis, and also this is just how you"ll pull ahead.

By the finish of my studying, I had notebooks to fill with practice questions that I"d missed, and when eating breakfast I could thumb through them to review them, prefer flashcards.

Adopt a no-mistake-left-behind policy toward your mistakes. Letting one on slide through deserve to mean you do the same mistake ~ above your genuine SAT.


Five Whys

Here"s one more useful trick once reviewing mistakes: ask you yourself "Why?" 5 times?

This is a revolutionary an approach developed by Toyota to figure out the root reason of production problems.

The suggest is that when you ask yourself "Why?" 5 times, you"ll destruction deeper and deeper to recognize what the underlying cause is, and how to settle it.

Here"s an example. Let"s say you miss a analysis passage question. Everyone does this.

Starting point: ns missed a reading question around the big picture summary of the passage.

Why? ns picked the wrong answer choice, out of the 2 I had actually left.Why? The not correct answer an option had a phrase that was in the passage, however otherwise the meaning was wrong. I gained tricked.Why? ns didn"t completely understand the passage when I was analysis it.Why? I check out the passage as well quickly.Why? ns was scared about running out of time.

Wow—you see how a single question can give you a TON of information about where you went wrong? now you have a many of avenues to improve—on just how you read passages, how you get rid of answer choices, and also how come process huge picture questions.

Again, very couple of students actually have actually the technique to go v this reflection. And this is why YOU"RE going to obtain a much better score.


Step 4: find Patterns in her Weaknesses, and Drill Them to Perfection

Now that you"re collecting mistakes in a notebook, you"ll be able to start finding trends to her weaknesses. This can be a content area—like problems with mathematics circle problems, or a particular grammar rule. Or it can be a an individual habit that yours, favor misreading the i or removed the wrong answer.

Focusing on your weaknesses is crucial because you have actually a limited amount the time come study, and also you must spend that valuable time top top the areas that will get you the greatest score improvement.

I"ve operated with college student who just love drilling their solid points since it"s comfortable. That course, this is a waste of time—you have actually to challenge your demons and also pick at wherein you"re weak, i m sorry is uncomfortable and difficult.

When ns was studying for the SAT and also MCAT, I maintained track of mine mistakes in an Excel spreadsheet. I found, because that example, that I repeatedly missed reading passage questions around inferences since I was reading too far into what the author was saying. I then concentrated on drilling those specific species of questions until i had developed my very own strategy for fixing the questions.

As another example, ago when the sat emphasized vocab more, I required to examine thousands that vocab words, any of which can show up on the test. I arisen my own an approach on the best means to research SAT vocab words—what I contact the Waterfall Method. This technique forces you to review words friend don"t understand over 10x much more than words you currently know—efficient studying. Girlfriend don"t must use this for the brand-new 2016 SAT, yet you may still uncover it beneficial for any type of class you should use flashcards for—foreign language, history, or English.


Find the weak link in your chain.

When you uncover your weakness, you need to find resources to drill that content area. If you"re weak in Trigonometry questions, you need to uncover a lot of SAT Trig inquiries to yes, really drill those skills. If you"re weak in subject/verb agreement, you need to uncover grammar inquiries to drill.

Doing all of this well is difficult for plenty of students, since you have to at once:

Do exercise questionsDiagnose her weaknessesFind an ext practice questionsUnderstand whether you"re improving or notAdjust your arrangement continuously

This is the backbone that every reliable study method, however it take away a lot of mental energy to execute well. This is in reality why we began—we wanted to develop an online prep regimen that would perform all the heavy lifting for you, so the you have the right to concentrate ~ above learning. In our program, we detect your weaknesses and automatically organize her quizzes by ability so the you can emphasis on learning and also not on the higher-level activities of evaluating your very own progress.

By the way, a fast side point—be suspiciously of any kind of content-level techniques that promise you results. By content-level, I median strategies that tell you just how you must solve a type of question. At your level, you require to focus on what works finest for you. for example, people strategy reading i differently. Some review the i first, climate answer questions. Some skim questions first, climate go back to the passage. I know what works finest for me, yet that"s not necessarily what works finest for you.

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What you will need to do is accumulation strategies for your weaknesses, then test them out yourself to watch if they job-related for you. Certain strategies for each weak is the end of limit of this article, yet we"ll article examples later.