PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Pinellas County high school junior has achieved almost the unthinkable by scoring a perfect 1600 on the Scholastic Assessment Test, or SAT.
Angela Li, who attends Palm Harbor University High School, is among the elite group of one percent of students who earned a perfect score on the test this school year… and she already has 58 college credits under her belt.
She took the SAT for the first time in December 2020 and again in March 2021, where she earned her perfect score.
“Honestly, I didn’t want to take it the second time. I was really satisfied with my score the first time, and then my dad was like, ‘well, the school’s offering it, you don’t have anything to lose, you might as well take it,” Li said.
But albeit begrudgingly, she did, to massive success.
Li said she found out about the surprisingly, amazing results while working a morning shift at Panera Bread.
“I was sitting there like waiting to go on break so I could check my SAT score!” she laughed.
Pinellas County Schools counselor Kit Ewing is incredibly proud. Ewing works with early college admission students, including Li, and with St. Petersburg College in Clearwater.
“Honestly, it’s so funny because I was just kind of randomly looking through a school report that had SAT scores and I saw it and I was like, ‘Oh my god, Angela got a 1600, holy moly, I couldn’t believe it,” said Ewing.
While Li took the test in the early spring, her counselor only found out months later. She calls her student extremely humble.
“She was just so sweet, she was just like, ‘yes, thank you!” Ewing said after sending Li a text message of congratulations. “I’ve been doing this for a very long time and I’ve never had a student that’s had a perfect SAT score. Ever.”
In addition to this incredible academic achievement, Li also plays many sports, such as basketball and track and field. Ewing also explained Li has almost 210 hours of community service already documented.
“She’s able to manage so much on her plate,” Ewing said.
Li prepared for her tests, taking “quite a few” practice problems and around five practice tests. She said getting the perfect score was “never the goal,” but it was a “pleasant surprise.”
She is currently unsure of what she’d like to major in or where she’d like to attend college, but it’s safe to say she’s quite set. She offered advice to fellow students preparing to take the SAT.
“Definitely look for patterns if you’re preparing for the SAT ahead of time. I’d honestly say, see as many different types of questions as you can, because the SAT kind of repeats… Like there’s only so many different question types, there’s only so many different types of passages they can give you. So if you constantly just expose yourself to these different types of things, it (may) be a lot easier to get the correct answer on the actual exam,” she said.
Not even the pandemic could stop this smart cookie. Li and Ewing explained classes were virtual at the beginning of the year, but have since transitioned back to being in-person.
“I think it provided me a great opportunity to learn more about how I function as a student,” Li said of virtual learning. “I realized I really do prefer having face-to-face classes and that I’m able to have that sort of interaction and connection. And just a little bit more about how I can teach myself because they (were) a lot of times that I had to do that sort of thing.”
Li is also involved with the Poynter Institute and is passionate about stopping the spread of misinformation on various social media platforms. She even appeared on NBC Nightly News with Lestor Holt.