The maximum score on the SAT is a 1600. Out of the two million students who take the test annually, only around 500 acquire the greatest feasible SAT score. This elusive perfect score catapults you to the height of high college academic achievement and also can be a big increase to your college applications.

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I scored perfect scores on the SAT. I actually scored 2 perfect scores—a 1600 in 2004 when I remained in high institution, and also a 2400 in March 2014 as soon as I took it ten years later on.

Many of the advice out tright here about exactly how to gain a perfect score come from world who didn"t get perfect scores. In this exclusive short article, I"ll be breaking down precisely what it takes, and the ruthless methods I provided to get a perfect score.

Rapid Disclaimer

Let me start with a couple of disclaimers.

I"m a humble person, and also I don"t favor talking around my achievements without good factor. I recognize a lot of you are looking to score the highest SAT score possible, so I"ve written this overview to help you get tright here. So whatever before I say here, please take it as advice from a mentor eager to help, not as a braggart strutting his stuff.

Also, a last note: I co-established the firm—we create digital SAT/ACT prep programs that adapt to you and also your staminas and weaknesses. I desire to emphasize that you carry out NOT should buy a complete prep regime to gain an excellent score. If you follow the values below and are exceptionally moved, you"ll perform simply fine.

I carry out believe, but, that is the finest SAT regime obtainable right now, especially if you find it hard to organize your prep and do not understand what to study. I"ll describe decisions we made in producing the regimen to flesh out principles I discuss below.

What Perfect SAT Scores Look Like

For complete transparency, let me show you my individual score report. This is a screenswarm from my College Board SAT Organizer:


I took the two SATs 10 years acomponent. The 2004 test was in an old format of the SAT and also was scored out of 1600. I took the new test in 2014 and scored a 2400.

(Yes, I took the SAT as an adult. Besides acquiring funny looks from high institution students, I wanted to go with the experience anew so I knew what my students at were going with.)

So that you deserve to check out in bleeding detail how I got the 2400, I"ve attached my unmain detailed score report from the College Board. You can check out exactly exactly how many type of questions I missed and check out my essay (my handcreating might usage some work).


Using my score report as an instance, let"s study what it takes to gain a perfect SAT score. While this score report talks around the Old 2400 SAT, the ethics are still the exact same. In the current SAT, tbelow are still Reading, Math, and also Writing sections, and you still have to perform EXTREMELY well on them to gain a perfect score.

What It Takes to Get a 1600 on the SAT

At the height end of the scoring array, the SAT is not forproviding. You need to aim for perfection.

Specifically, here"s what you need to carry out in each section:

In Reading, you deserve to just miss 1 or 2 inquiries. This counts on the curve for that test. It"s best to aim for lacking 0 or 1 question. In my test, I missed 1 reading passage question.In Math, you need to acquire eincredibly question correct. No question about it. The curve is unforgiving for Math. Miss 1 question and you will not get an 800 on this area.In Writing, you deserve to periodically miss out on 1 question at the majority of. In some tests, you need to obtain a perfect Writing and Language score to have actually a swarm at an 800.

Basically, you must aim for perfection in the time of your prep. If you"re repeatedly missing one or even more inquiries on each section, you"re not performing repeatedly sufficient to be safe for a 1600. We"ll go into even more detail about this listed below.

If you desire to confirm my statements right here, examine out the College Board score charts for official SAT exercise tests.

One last question to answer prior to my actual advice:

But Wait...Are You Just Smart? Will This Advice Work for Me?

You may have actually heard about height scoring students who just rolled out of bed, strolcaused the SAT test facility, and also scored the highest possible possible SAT score without any type of prep.

This was not me. Some human being like the above might in reality exist, however they"re rare. In high institution, I was naturally stronger at math—I participated in math and science competitions—and I might reliably gain 800"s on the math section.

But my analysis and also writing needed work-related. When I began off, I continuously gained in the 700 range. Now, this is currently pretty high, yet it wasn"t sufficient for the optimal colleges I was aiming for. I just wasn"t that accustomed to the SAT reading passeras and the forms of inquiries they asked.

It took a lot of difficult work for me to learn how the SAT works, just how it tries to trick students, and just how to uncover a strategy that functioned for myself so I can reliably obtain height scores. My co-founder at had actually a comparable story.

Because I"m older, I additionally have actually the benefit of seeing whether my methods operated over time, or simply on the SAT. Emphatically, the values listed below have actually functioned throughout my scholastic career.

Here"s an additional instance. As an undergraduate in college, I planned to attend medical school, so I had actually to take the MCAT (Medical College Adgoals Test). In my watch, this is a a lot harder test than the SAT. It covers many more topics: basic chemistry, organic chemisattempt, physics, biology, and verbal reasoning. Additionally, you"re completing via pre-med"s across the country, human being that are naturally propelled and also contending to acquire into medical college, not simply the average high school student.

When I began studying for the MCAT, I scored roughly the low 30"s. The test is scored out of 45, and also it"s curved very aggressively. Aobtain, this was already well over average, yet it wasn"t enough for the top clinical schools I was going for.

So I worked difficult. I put in the time, spanned all the subjects I required to understand, and also was ruthless around my prep. In the exceptionally end, I scored a 44:


As the testing organization notes, this is in the 99.9 percentile rank, through 0.0% achieving this score (this number is rounded). I had multiple medical advisers tell me that they had never checked out a score this high before, and also there might indeed be fewer than 3 people per year—or none at all—who obtain a 44. Scoring this high absolutely aided me get into the MD-PhD routine at Harvard Medical School and MIT.

I wish I were talented sufficient to gain these test scores naturally without hundreds of hrs of tough job-related. That would certainly be the cooler point to say. But it wasn"t true for me, and also it most likely won"t be true for you either.

With this structure laid, here"s the meat of what I want to say:

What Do You Need to Do to Get a Perfect 1600 SAT Score?

In wide strokes, it takes the majority of difficult work, a lot of smart occupational, and also some amount of luck.

But you"ve heard this before so simply this alone isn"t valuable. Let"s dig deeper.

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

You need the catalyst to press yourself. You need to put SAT prep as one of your height priorities in life, overcoming watching YouTube or hanging out at the mall.

In the darkest of days, as soon as you take a practice test and drop 100 points inexplicably, and your parental fees are freaking out, and you"re worried you"re never gaining into your optimal college, you need the inner fire to not obtain depressed. Instead, you should pull yourself up and objectively rip apart your mistakes so you do not repeat them.

People don"t often mention impetus, but in my see this is just one of the many necessary pieces that differentiate successful people from not, in all elements of life. It"s a lot more crucial than just being smart.

Make a list of all the reasons you desire to acquire a perfect score. Write them down. Stare at them once you shed belief.

Want to gain right into Harvard or an Ivy Organization school? Want to make up for a negative GPA? Want to prove to your parental fees that you deserve to beat their expectations? Want to compete with your friends? Want to display up your 3rd-grade teacher who sassist you would never before amount to anything?

That"s all great. Anypoint that drives you from within is a valid reason to work tough.

You"ll need this to combat procrastination and also laziness. You"ll need this to push yourself to execute eexceptionally strategy I tell you below. If you"re not encouraged, it"s simply as well easy to brush aside faiattract and be sloppy around your weaknesses.

In my individual situation, beyond the academic benefits, I thought the SAT was a dumb test that was impeding my life. I was angry at test authors that devised tricks to fool students. I approached it prefer a video game—the SAT and also the College Board were bosses that I necessary to conquer. Plus, my brvarious other had actually a near-perfect score, and also I wanted to one-up him.

Write down all the reasons you want a perfect score and also usage it to fuel yourself every examine session.


Exclusive Bonus: We"ve composed a famous cost-free guide on 5 tips to enhancing your SAT score by 160+ points. Get a cost-free downpack here.

Tip 1: Do High-Quality Practice and also Avoid Low-Quality Materials

The SAT is a weird test. It"s unfavor tests that you"ve taken throughout college. It presents easy concepts in bizarre means. This is essentially just how the College Board renders the test hard— it takes ideas many students have viewed before, twists them to be unacquainted, and counts on students to screw up.

To excel at this test, you require the highest top quality practice materials. Due to the fact that the SAT has concerns that are twisted in a specific means, you need to train in precisely the way they"re twisted so you learn the trends.

As we"ve said before, by much the best exercise material comes straight from the College Board in the form of official SAT exercise tests. When I was studying, I devoured eexceptionally SAT exercise test I can find. I took over 15 full-length exercise tests and was ruthmuch less around finding my mistakes, as I"ll talk around soon.

Just like the mantra about your diet and also body, what you put in is what you gain out. Trash in, trash out. If you train yourself on concerns that don"t reflect what"s on the SAT, you"re going to learn the wrong trends.

Using negative materials is like training for basesphere by playing tee-round. Yes, if you spfinish 1000 hrs practicing tee-ball, you"ll be a tee-sphere pro. But when someone pitches a real baseround at you, you"re going to freak out—"why is the ball traveling so fast? Why"s it so cshed to my face? Ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod."

And then you strike out.


To be frank, many of the books obtainable on the market are trash. They boast about having a lot of questions, yet they"re composed by people who aren"t truly experts on the test. This implies the questions do not test principles in the exact same way; the answers are sometimes ambiguous; the inquiries do not trick you in the exact same way the SAT does.

In my firm, we hire just SAT full-scorers and 99 percentile scorers to craft our thousands of test questions. You should have mastered the test to really understand the intricacies of how the SAT works. We"ve turned amethod dozens of applicants who scored listed below a 1520 since they really do not understand the test well sufficient.

If you prefer researching via publications, here"s my list of the peak SAT prep books easily accessible. Tbelow are some pretty high-high quality books created by true experts, though they deserve to acquire pricey—buying the top five books will certainly price you at least a hundred dollars.

Collect good prep materials and study utilizing just these.

Tip 2: Focus on Quality First, Quantity Second

Now you have the majority of products.

Some students focus difficult on obtaining through every single page of every book they have. They can not know why they"re examining what they"re researching, but at least they certain put in a lot of time and also effort!

This is the wrong concept. You do not desire to pound your head against the wall and use a brute force method.

Improving your SAT score is about top quality initially, and quantity second.

It"s so tempting to simply emphasis on gaining occupational done, because that"s the straightforward part. Understanding your weaknesses, as we talk about below, is what takes genuine energy and also insight.

Think about it this way—let"s say you"re learning to throw a football through a perfect spiral. You deserve to pick up a footround and, by trial and also error, if you throw it 1,000 times, you"ll make some progression.

Now imagine you have New England also Patriots quarterago Tom Brady standing by your side. You throw the round when, and he corrects your method. Move your foot ago this way, have actually your hand also follow a particular motion, and also follow through. You attempt aacquire, and also it"s method better.

In throwing 50 balls this means, I"m specific you"d end up doing much better than 1,000 by yourself.

I"m not arguing that Tom Brady is a tutor, and you have to have actually a tutor. You can be your own Tom Brady, and we discuss listed below how to perform that. But you need to make sure you acquire the many out of your examining and make it as effective as possible.


You need your very own SAT Tom Brady.

Tip 3: Be Ruthmuch less About Understanding Your Mistakes

On the ground level, once you"re actually studying, this is by much the the majority of essential method you"ll succeed over various other students.

EVERY mistake you make on a test happens for a reason. If you don"t understand EXACTLY why you missed that question, you will make that mistake over and also over again.

If you"re percreating at the 700 level, you"re missing roughly 10% to 15% of all questions. This suggests you have some consistent errors that are holding ago your score.

This is what you must do:

On eexceptionally exercise test or question collection that you take, note EVERY question that you"re also 20% uncertain around.When you grade your test or quiz, evaluation every single question that you marked, and eincredibly incorrect question. This method also if you guessed a question effectively, you"ll make sure to testimonial it.In a notebook, compose dvery own the gist of the question, why you missed it, and also what you"ll do to protect against that mistake later. Have separate sections by subject and sub-topic (reading—passeras vs sentence completion, writing—sentence errors vs boosting paragraphs).

It"s NOT enough to simply think around it and also move on. It"s NOT enough to just read the answer explanation.

You need to think HARD about why you especially failed on this question.

By taking this structured technique to your mistakes, you"ll now have a running log of eincredibly question you missed, and your reflection on why.

Everyone who desires to obtain to an 800 on a area has actually various weaknesses from you. It"s important that you uncover for yourself what those are.


No excprovides as soon as it concerns your mistakes.

Go Deeper—WHY Did You Miss It?

Now, what are some widespread factors that you missed a question? Don"t simply say, "I didn"t know this material." Always take it one step further—what especially did you miss out on, and also what execute you need to enhance in the future?

Here are some examples of widespread reasons you miss out on a question, and also how you take the evaluation one step further:

Content: I didn"t learn the ability or knowledge essential to answer this question.

One step further: What particular skill execute I have to learn, and also how will certainly I learn this skill?

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

One step further: How perform I solve the question, and also is tbelow a basic ascendancy that I need to know for the future?

Wrong Guess: I was stuck in between 2 answer choices, and also I guessed wrong.

One step further: Why can I not get rid of one of the last answer choices? Knowing the correct answer currently, how I deserve to remove it? Does this suggest a strategy I can use for the future?

Careless Error: I misread what the question was asking for or addressed for the wrong thing

One step further: Why did I misread the question? What should I execute later to avoid this?

Does this seem hard? It is—you need to think tough around why you"re falling short and also understand also yourself in a method that no one else have the right to. But few students actually put in the initiative to do this evaluation, and also this is exactly how you"ll pull ahead.

By the finish of my studying, I had actually notebooks filled with practice concerns that I"d missed, and also when eating breakquick I might thumb with them to testimonial them, favor flashcards.

Adopt a no-mistake-left-behind plan toward your mistakes. Letting one slip with have the right to suppose you make the exact same mistake on your genuine SAT.


Five Whys

Here"s another advantageous trick once reviewing mistakes: ask yourself "Why?" 5 times?

This is a revolutionary strategy emerged by Toyota to figure out the root cause of production difficulties.

The allude is that once you ask yourself "Why?" five times, you"ll dig deeper and also deeper to understand also what the underlying reason is, and how to fix it.

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

Starting point: I missed a Reading question about the massive photo summary of the passage.

Why? I picked the wrong answer alternative, out of the 2 I had left.Why? The wrong answer alternative had actually a expression that remained in the passage, yet otherwise the interpretation was wrong. I got tricked.Why? I didn"t completely understand also the passage as soon as I was analysis it.Why? I review the passage also quickly.Why? I was scared about running out of time.

Wow—you see how a single question can offer you a TON of indevelopment about wbelow you went wrong? Now you have a lot of opportunities to improve—on just how you review passeras, just how you get rid of answer options, and also just how to process significant photo questions.

Aobtain, extremely few students actually have the technique to go with this reflection. And this is why YOU"RE going to get a much better score.


Step 4: Find Patterns in Your Weaknesses, and Drill Them to Perfection

Now that you"re collecting mistakes in a notebook, you"ll be able to start finding trends to your weaknesses. This could be a content area—favor troubles through math circle difficulties, or a specific grammar rule. Or it can be an individual habit of yours, favor misreading the passage or eliminating the wrong answer.

Focmaking use of on your weaknesses is CRITICAL because you have a limited amount of time to study, and also you need to spfinish that precious time on the areas that will gain you the greatest score improvement.

I"ve operated through students that just love drilling their solid points bereason it"s comfortable. Of course, this is a waste of time—you need to face your demons and also pick at wbelow you"re weak, which is uncomfortable and also hard.

When I was researching for the SAT and MCAT, I retained track of my misabsorbs an Excel spreadsheet. I discovered, for instance, that I repetitively missed Reading passage concerns about inferences because I was analysis as well far right into what the author was saying. I then concentrated on drilling those particular types of concerns until I had occurred my very own strategy for solving the questions.

As an additional example, back as soon as the SAT emphasized vocab even more, I necessary to examine thousands of vocab words, any type of of which can display up on the test. I developed my very own approach on the finest method to research SAT vocab words—what I call the Waterautumn Method. This strategy pressures you to evaluation words you don"t recognize over 10x even more than words you already know—effective studying. You do not need to usage this for the New 2016 SAT, however you may still find it advantageous for any type of class you should use flashcards for—international language, history, or English.


Find the weak connect in your chain.

When you find your weakness, you need to uncover sources to drill that content area. If you"re weak in Trigonometry concerns, you must discover the majority of SAT Trig questions to really drill those skills. If you"re weak in subject/verb agreement, you have to uncover grammar questions to drill.

Doing every one of this well is hard for many students, bereason you have to at once:

Do practice questionsDiagnose your weaknessesFind even more exercise questionsUnderstand also whether you"re boosting or notAdsimply your arrangement continuously

This is the backbamong eextremely effective study strategy, yet it takes a lot of mental energy to carry out well. This is actually why we began—we wanted to construct an online prep routine that would certainly execute all the hefty lifting for you, so that you have the right to concentprice on learning. In our regimen, we detect your weaknesses and also instantly organize your quizzes by ability so that you can emphasis on learning and also not on the higher-level tasks of analyzing your own development.

By the method, a quick side point—be suspicious of any kind of content-level tactics that promise you outcomes. By content-level, I expect strategies that tell you how you need to settle a form of question. At your level, you need to emphasis on what functions best for you. For instance, people technique reading passeras in different ways. Some read the passage initially, then answer concerns. Some skim questions first, then go earlier to the passage. I understand what works ideal for me, yet that"s not necessarily what functions best for you.

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What you will need to do is aggregate strategies for your weaknesses, then test them out yourself to view if they work for you. Specific strategies for each weakness is out of scope of this article, yet we"ll article examples later on.