SAT Perfect Score | All the Info and Tips You Need to Reach Your Goal at the Test

Getting a perfect score on the SAT exam may seem like a dream or something only reserved for savants and geniuses, but in fact, with the right test-taking strategies, achieving a SAT perfect score can be achieved. Not only will you have bragging rights for achieving such an accomplishment, but also you will be highly competitive in some of the world's most elite colleges and academic institutions.

The maximum score on the SAT exam is a perfect 1600 out of 1600. Every year almost two million hopeful students take the SAT exam. Of those two million or so students, only about 500 students achieve the coveted accomplishment of a perfect SAT score of 1600 points.You can also look for a nation-wide SAT average score here. What comes of great help is the SAT prep books we reviewed as well as our lineup of the top courses to help you pass the SAT.

Below are some test-taking strategies and concepts to keep in mind when aiming for that perfect SAT score.

girl holding a pen

Understanding the SAT Exam Format

For many high school students, doing well on the College Board SAT exam can be the ticket to a college acceptance letter at a top-tier university. In order to be highly competitive at such college admissions, students must work hard at aiming for a high score on the SAT exam. In order to first do so, we must take a look at the SAT exam format. Also, you can get familiar with changes from old SAT to new SAT here.

The SAT exam consists of 3 hours of testing content. There are 2 breaks in between the testing session. In addition, if you choose to register for the optional SAT Essay section, you may also use that score as an indicator of your writing ability and send that result in as part of your full SAT exam scores. To get the best essay score on your SAT, look in this post.

Reading Section

There are 52 multiple-choice questions on the Reading section of the exam. The time allotted is 65 minutes.

Writing and Language Section

There are 44 multiple-choice questions on the Writing and Language section of the exam. The time allotted is 35 minutes.

Calculator Math Section

There are 30 multiple-choice questions and 8 student-produced questions on the Calculator Math section of the exam. The time allotted is 55 minutes.

Essay Section (optional)

The Essay section of the SAT exam is optional. You are allotted 50 minutes to read a passage from the prompt and then write an essay analyzing what you have read. The Essay section of the exam is graded separately from your other sections.

Understanding your SAT Scores

The SAT composite score is comprised of both the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section of the exam as well as the Math section of the exam. The final SAT scaled score will range from 400 to 1600. So, how good is 1400 on the SAT?And, is 1200 on the SAT a good score? - you may ask, too.

Getting a perfect 1600 score on the SAT exam is challenging, but you do NOT exactly have to get absolutely perfect marks with no errors at all in order to still score 1600 on the SAT Exam. Each test has its own scoring scale, so you may be able to get 1 or 2 questions wrong on each section and still receive a perfect 1600 score on the SAT exam. If you receive little less than that, 1500 score on the SAT is still considered well above national average.

how to study

Key Concepts and Takeaways for Preparing for the SAT Exam

Start with the end in mind

Budget your time wisely when taking the SAT exam. If you are not sure about certain answers right away, skip them and go back to them later.

Make sure to review and double-check your answers. A perfect score means a perfect performance during your test-taking session. Manage your time, cadence, and frequency when going over test questions one by one. With proper time management, you can go through the exam quickly and efficiently.

Have a set plan and purpose

It is important to understand the "why" of achieving a high score. If your aim is to go to a top-10 elite school, then you must prepare accordingly and sacrifice time to prepare for the SAT exam.

Be specific and stick with your plan. Have a set study schedule and clear goals in mind for the SAT exam and college admissions application process.

Be consistent

Having a consistent study schedule and putting in hours for the intensive, concentrated study is a good way of preparing for the SAT exam. As the big test day comes closer and closer on your calendar, remember to review past material and work on your weaknesses or other trouble spots on the SAT exam.

Have a winning attitude

In addition to being consistent, you can treat the test day like a sports match or game. Having a winning attitude means waking up early and studying days or weeks before the official SAT exam test date.

Do not be discouraged if your score is not to your satisfaction. As long as you find improvement in your test scores (see 'How to Improve SAT Scores by 200 Points?') and certain question types, you are in the right direction. It is a true challenge to get a high score on the SAT exam. A perfect score may sound daunting and highly unattainable. However, with the right preparation and mindset, you can achieve a high score and exceed your expectations.

Stay positive

Each student has different goals, habits, schedules, and beliefs. It is important to have not only a winning attitude but a positive one too. Being positive allows you to manage your stress and keep your eyes on the prize.

To get a perfect SAT score is like climbing a mountain. You must start at the base before heading up to the summit. With proper test-taking strategies and preparation, you can achieve the test scores that you desire. Make sure you put in the hours and keep a positive attitude.

Eat healthy

Your mind is fueled by the food you eat. Having the right foods in your body makes you feel refreshed and nourished. Having a balanced healthy diet is critical not only for taking tests like the SAT Exam but also in overall wellness and fitness of your body and mind.

What does a perfect SAT score look like exactly?

To achieve a perfect SAT score, a test-taker must get perfects scores of 800 on both the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section as well as the Math section. This means a perfect grand total perfect score of 1600 points on the SAT exam.

Remember that your Reading and Writing scores, including the essay, are combined for a single EBRW (Evidence-based Reading and Writing) score, so make sure you read all the writing prompts thoroughly and complete the required essay portion in a timely manner.

To find your personal score report for the SAT Exam, just log in to your College Board account and go to the College Board SAT Organizer section to see your scores.

Can I miss 1 or 2 questions on the SAT Exam and still get a perfect score?

A perfect 1600 score on the SAT Exam does not necessarily mean you need to be 100% perfect in all the questions. Luckily, there is some breathing room for certain sections that allow for a few mistakes if you answer a question incorrectly.

In the Math section, you must answer ALL questions correctly. Generally speaking, if you miss just even ONE question on the Math section of the SAT Exam, the score will NOT be 800 in that section.

In the Reading and Writing section, you can miss 1 or 2 questions and still receive a perfect 800 score in that section.

Perfection is hard to attain and sometimes it is hard to predict how the College Board will evaluate your score. It is best to aim for an absolute top score with no wrong answers on questions for the best chance of getting a perfect score of 1600 as a final composite score on the SAT Exam.

How to practice for the SAT exam?

pick the right material

Quality over quantity

The content and materials that you use to prepare for the SAT exam is probably the most important factor in achieving a perfect score of 1600. Quality means high-caliber content that allows you to review key test-taking strategies and concepts.

You just understand your weaknesses and work on those questions where you are having difficulty in. Use your time wisely and keep your study schedule consistent to make your study session as efficient as possible.

review yourself

Review, review, review

Reviewing your performance on practice SAT exams is an important strategy. Understand your mistakes and make a conscious effort to improve on your weaknesses.

One way you can improve is to review questions that you hesitate on or have any slight uncertainty on. Mark these questions that you are unsure about and go back to review them when the practice test session is over.

become great with practice

Practice makes perfect

A perfect score on the SAT exam means hundreds of hours of preparation before hand. Practice really does make perfect.

Find practice questions and go over them again and again until you feel confident in those types of questions. It is also important to double-check your answers to make sure you are answering the right question and filling in the right answer you would like to choose on the multiple-choice section.

know your weakness

Know your weaknesses

Finding your weaknesses and seeing which types of questions you have trouble with is a great way to improving your score. You should analyze each and every question that you missed in order to understand why you got that question wrong and how to not make that mistake again.

Did you make a silly mistake or are you really not strong in certain question types? This is a question you must ask yourself. When recognizing and admitting your weaknesses, you allow yourself time for reflection and analysis. In return, you can formulate a definitive plan of action to help improve on those weaknesses so you can achieve a higher desired score on the SAT Exam.

make a schedule

Have a consistent routine and study schedule

Each student has a busy and varied daily schedule. Allocating consistent time during the week dedicated to studying is crucial for student success in achieving a high score on the SAT exam.

To get a perfect 1600 score on the SAT exam, you must have a consistent routine and study schedule. Just like exercising or building muscles, you must have a good routine and repetition of certain exercises in order to grow and improve.

Decide if you are better at studying in the mornings or evenings. If you have a class or a job in the afternoon, then maybe studying for 1 or 2 hours before your class or work shift is a good idea.

In the evenings, some students might be tired from a full day of class or work. Others might feel energized back at home and can be in the study time during the evenings. It is up to you. You should study during the time of the day when you feel that both your body and your mind are best fit for learning and studying.

take sat more than once

Take the SAT Exam more than once

First-time test takers often feel nervous that this is the only shot they have to get a good score. Do not worry. Luckily, the College Board offers the official SAT exam multiple times throughout the year.

You are allowed to take the SAT exam more than once -- in fact, up to 12 times total. Most colleges will accept your SAT Exam score as part of their college admissions application process. Luckily, most colleges will accept your SAT Superscore, which is the composite score of your best-performing score on the Evidence-based Reading and Writing section and your best-performing score on the Math section for all SAT exam attempts.


When it comes to improving your SAT score and aiming towards perfection, the two most important actions are review and practice. Getting a perfect SAT score on the College Board SAT exam is not easy. However, with the right game plan and study schedule, this goal can become much more achievable day by day if you are consistent and dedicated.

Make sure you start studying many months ahead before your test date. It might be ideal to take the summer vacation time as a serious time for studying. Some high school students might do summer camp, travel, or work part-time, but if you are serious about getting a near-perfect score on the SAT exam, then you must sacrifice some of that precious summer vacation time to studying and reviewing for the SAT exam.

Figure out what question types you are weak on and work on those weaknesses. Remember that the composite score adds up to a total of 1600 points on the SAT Exam. The SAT exam is split into two main sections: 1) Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and 2) Math.

Find out what problems you have on certain question types in each section. Then review, review, review and practice some more. The process of getting a high score on the SAT exam may seem difficult or daunting, but with enough hard work and dedication, you can see continual progress at reaching your goal of a perfect score!

Leonard Haggin

I created this site to help students like you learn from the experiences my team had learned during our extensive academic careers. I am now studying Law at Stanford, but I also make time to write articles here in order to help all you fellow students advance in your academic careers and beyond. I hope our efforts on Study Prep Lounge will arm you with the knowledge you need to overcome whatever trial or test you find in front of you.

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