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: Nicole Abalde/Flickr
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.
Here it is:
SAT Score (out of 1600)
|Paul Allen||1600||Washington State University|
|Will Smith||Rumored to be perfect||None|
|Ben Affleck||Almost perfect||Occidental College, University of Vermont|
|Bill O'Reilly||1585||Marist College|
|Stephen King||1300s||University of Maine|
|Meredith Vieira||1300s||Tufts University|
|George W. Bush||1206||Yale|
|Derek Jeter||1200||University of Michigan|
|Courtney Cox||1150||Mount Vernon College|
|Amy Tan||1100s||Linfield College, San José State University|
|Peyton Manning||1030||University of Tennessee|
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 Upcoming SAT Changes
These celebs took the old version of the SAT, when it was scored out of 1600. The current SAT is scored out of 2400, with a maximum possible score of 800 for Critical Reading, Math, and Writing. Starting in the spring of 2016, however, the redesigned SAT will return to the 1600 scale system, with a maximum point value of 800 for Critical Reading and Writing (together) and 800 for math. There are several other changes in content that you should know about if you'll be taking the new SAT. The new PSAT, furthermore, which all juniors will take in the fall, is changing this year (2015) to match the new SAT. 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?
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.
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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.