Celebrity SAT Scores (Kesha, Bill Gates, and more)



What do you have in common with Kesha, Bill Gates, Al Gore, and Derek Jeter? They all had to take the SAT when they were in high school, just like you!

However you feel about the SAT, it's a landmark in the lives of many American students (and lots of international ones, too). Taking the SAT is an experience that many of you will share and remember well for the rest of your lives. Let's check out some SAT scores of the rich and famous—and talk about how you can achieve some Kesha-worthy scores of your own.

feature image credit: KE$HA by Becky Sullivan, used under CC-BY-2.0


SAT Scores of Famous People

We've gathered a complete list of celebrity SAT scores. These were often revealed in interviews or through investigative research. Some people were proud of their high scores, others proud of their low scores—and others couldn't care less.

The celebrities on the list took the SAT when it was administered as a pencil and paper test, but the College Board has explained that scores on the old paper-based version and the new digital SAT are comparable. We’ll continue updating this list as younger celebrities begin taking the new digital SAT, so stay tuned!

Without further ado, here’s the list of famous SAT scorers:


SAT Score (out of 1600)

College Attended

Paul Allen 1600 Washington State University
Will Smith Rumored to be perfect None
Ben Affleck Almost perfect Occidental College, University of Vermont
Bill Gates 1590 Harvard
Ben Bernanke 1590 Harvard
Bill O'Reilly 1585 Marist College
Ryan Fitzpatrick 1580 Harvard
James Woods 1579 MIT
Ben Stein 1573 Columbia
Kesha 1500 None
Scott McNealy 1420 Stanford
Natalie Portman 1400+ Harvard
Al Gore 1355 Harvard
Stephen King 1300s University of Maine
Meredith Vieira 1300s Tufts University
George W. Bush 1206 Yale
Derek Jeter 1200 University of Michigan
John Kerry 1190 Yale
Courtney Cox 1150 Mount Vernon College
Amy Tan 1100s Linfield College, San José State University
Kobe Bryant 1080 None
Scarlett Johansson 1080 None
Bill Clinton 1032 Georgetown
Peyton Manning 1030 University of Tennessee
Alex Rodriguez 910 None


Clearly all people on this list are considered successful, indicating you don't need a high SAT score to be successful, if you have passion, drive, and talent. You can either get a Kesha-like SAT score of 1500 or a Kobe-like one of 1080.

But for most people in the world (like you and me), working hard in school, getting good grades, and earning high scores set up a brighter future with more open opportunities.

Actors, singers, athletes, entrepreneurs, and politicians are scattered all up and down the list, but how can you join the ranks of Bill Gates, Will Smith, and Kesha up at the top?

Read on for the important strategies and resources you need to score high on the SAT.





Where Will You Fall On This List?

You need a high SAT score to get into good colleges, and we've got tips for you to improve your score.


Get to Know the SAT Well

To do well on the SAT, you have to know the SAT—you must be familiar with its content and format, as well as able to work fast and efficiently. High quality materials are a must in readying yourself and improving your scores. Questions that aren't well written or don't match the complexity of real SAT questions won't get you very far. Timing yourself as your practice will also help you with pacing.


Study Smart, Not Dumb

Getting ready is not just about how much you prep, but about how well you prep. There are several important strategies to your approach, including setting small, manageable goals and rooting out your particular strengths and weaknesses. Check out our free E-Book for the tips you need to know to customize your study methods to your abilities and learning style.


Understand the Test Inside and Out

By the time you take the SAT, you don't want to have any lingering questions or uncertainties about the test, including how long the sections are or how your scores are calculated. To learn the ins and outs of the SAT, check out our numerous resources. Just a few good places to start involve how long the test is, how it is scored, and how you can get a perfect SAT score.


Know About Digital SAT Changes

These celebs took an older version of the SAT, and there have been a few major changes to the test since then. The current SAT is scored out of 1600, with both sections of the exam having a maximum possible score of 800. There are now 2 sections on the SAT: the Reading and Writing section and the Math section. Each of these sections is further divided into two modules, so there are technically four modules total on the SAT (2 Reading and Writing and 2 Math). 

The test takes a little over 2 hours to complete, and there are a total of 98 questions (54 Reading and Writing and 44 Math). There are several other changes in content that you should know about if you'll be taking the new, digital SAT. Furthermore, the new PSAT, which all juniors will take in the fall, has also changed to this digital delivery and format. Read about the redesign here, and learn how it will help next year's juniors prepare for the new SAT.

The SAT is a rite of passage that many high school students share on the road to college. What scores will end up being reported for you?




What's Next?

No two people are exactly the same, so no two approaches to studying should be the same either. A good starting point to customizing your SAT prep to your unique strengths and skills is setting personalized goals. Find out what's a good SAT score, a bad SAT score, and an excellent SAT score here so you can set your own individual target scores.

The SAT is a long and important test, so obviously you wouldn't be well served by only cramming the night before. But when exactly should you start prepping for the SAT? Learn how to schedule out your time to effectively study for the SAT.



Have friends who also need help with test prep? Share this article!
About the Author
author image
Rebecca Safier

Rebecca graduated with her Master's in Adolescent Counseling from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has years of teaching and college counseling experience and is passionate about helping students achieve their goals and improve their well-being. She graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University and scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT.

Ask a Question Below

Have any questions about this article or other topics? Ask below and we'll reply!