What is a Perfect SAT Score?

There have been many changes to the SAT test since its introduction in 1926, and most of them have raised the bar for achieving a perfect SAT score. Administered by the non-profit College Board, the SAT was originally an acronym. Initially the letters stood for Scholastic Aptitude Test, and then Aptitude was replaced by Assessment. The current version of the exam was introduced in 2005, and is simply called the SAT Reasoning Test.

One thing that has not changed is the importance of the test. It is recognized internationally and used as an admissions tool by virtually all colleges and universities. It measures a candidates understanding of reading, writing and mathematics, and is considered a solid indication of their likely academic success. Taking the test requires three hours and forty-five minutes, and scores range from a minimum of 600 to a perfect 2,400. To achieve a perfect score a test taker would have to achieve the maximum possible score of 800 in each of the three sections.Perfect SAT Score

The first component of a perfect SAT score is the Critical Reading section, which consists of three scored sections containing a total of 67 questions over 70 minutes. On some questions a sentence is shown with some words blanked out, and a test taker must choose a word from a multiple choice list to complete it. There are 19 sentence completion questions. Passage based reading questions require a test taker to read a passage of text and then answer questions about it from a list of options. There are 48 of these types of questions. A point is awarded for each correct answer and ¼ point is deducted for each incorrect answer. A skipped question does not affect the score.

The Mathematics section also takes 70 minutes and contains 44 multiple choice and 10 grid-in questions. Questions test knowledge of algebra, arithmetic, geometry, statistics and probability. A grid-in question requires a test-taker to calculate the answer to a problem rather than choosing from a list of possibilities. An incorrect grid-in question is treated like an omitted question and does not impact the score.

The Writing element of the test includes 49 multiple choice questions over 35 minutes as well as a 25 minute essay. The questions test grammar, word choice and writing mechanics, and make up 70 percent of the score. The essay was added in 2005 to demonstrate a test takers critical thinking, and accounts for 30 percent of the score.

A Perfect SAT Score

A perfect SAT score of 2,400 is possible, but very rare. Three million or so students that take the test each year and only 300-400 of them achieve maximum points. However, there are some notable cases. In February 2013, three high school classmates from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, all scored 2,400 in the same test. One of the students was particularly nervous before the test as her two brothers had both managed a lofty 2,380 on their SATs.