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10 Celebs with Amazing SAT Scores

by Staff Writers

You’ve heard it all before: celebs are people, too, and a lot of them took the SAT just like you did. Of course, SAT scores are confidential, so you’re not likely to find huge ranked lists of celebrities and their respective SAT scores, but still, a few have divulged this private information, and some of them are pretty impressive. Whether they’re perfect, nearly perfect, or downright abysmal, these celebrity SAT scores just might surprise you.

Please note: all of these scores are based out of a maximum possible score of 1600.

  1. Bill O’Reilly

    Bill O’Reilly is a famous political commentator, and host of his own show, The O’Reilly Factor, the most-watched cable news TV program on American TV. Although he chose a public high school over a private Catholic boys high school (his friends were at the public school), O’Reilly’s education was not hampered. He scored 1585 out of 1600 on the SAT, nearly a perfect score. That number got him into Marist College, his father’s choice, where he was an honors history major. O’Reilly certainly seemed to be enthusiastic about education, and after receiving his Bachelor of Arts, he went on to earn two master’s degrees: a Master of Arts in Broadcast Journalism from Boston University, and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard.

  2. Bill Gates

    Bill Gates’ score of 1590 out of 1600 is certainly amazing, but honestly, it’s not that surprising. Along with Paul Allen (who has a 1600 SAT score), Gates co-founded Microsoft, one of the biggest software companies in the world. He’s one of the best-known entrepreneurs in technology, and is frequently ranked among the world’s most wealthy people. Gates showed promise early on, as he, Allen, and two other students were expelled from school for exploiting bugs in the school’s computer operating system. His excellent score enabled him to get into Harvard, and although he enrolled, worked on algorithms, and spent a lot of time on school computers, he dropped out to work with Allen, ultimately starting their own computer software company.

  3. Bill Cosby

    Unlike others on this list, Bill Cosby’s SAT score is amazing in a different sense. His is reported to be less than 500, a score barely higher than the 400 or so points you reportedly receive just for writing your name on the test. He is an educator and beloved sitcom actor, but at least initially, Cosby didn’t seem to care much about his own education. He dropped out of high school after failing the tenth grade, later earning a GED so that he would be able to study physical education at Temple University, and eventually went on to earn a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts. It would seem that Cosby is living proof that you can succeed beyond the limits of your SAT score.

  4. Natalie Portman

    Natalie Portman isn’t just a pretty face in Hollywood, although most people would agree that the tiny starlet is quite beautiful. But her beauty isn’t her only asset; Portman is incredibly smart, as well, with an SAT score that’s rumored to be in the 1400s. She takes education so seriously, in fact, that she skipped the premiere of her film, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace to study for high school final exams. She even graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor’s in psychology, fully acknowledging that school might have an adverse affect on her career, but not really caring. "I don’t care if [college] ruins my career. I’d rather be smart than a movie star," she said. Portman has even shown interest in postgraduate work, taking graduate courses at the Hebrew University of Journalism, guest lecturing at Columbia University, and co-authoring research papers that appeared in scientific journals.

  5. James Woods

    James Woods is known as an acclaimed actor both on stage and TV, but he originally planned to become a surgeon. He certainly has the SAT score and intelligence to back up that career pursuit, with a rumored score of 1579, almost perfect. He studied at MIT, majoring in political science before dropping out to pursue acting. Woods presumably puts his above-average intelligence to work while acting, but that’s not the only thing that he does to test his smarts; he plays on the World Poker Tour, and normally does very well. In fact, in 2006, he finished 24th of out 692 players at the LA Poker Classic. He is also involved in politics as a vocal supporter of George W. Bush, the Iraq war, and Rudy Giuliani.

  6. Ben Affleck

    Although Matt Damon is often presumed to be the one with the most brains among these two friends, Ben Affleck’s intelligence is nothing to scoff at. In fact, Affleck had almost-perfect SAT scores in high school. This may have been his mother’s influence; she graduated from Harvard University and is a public school teacher. But according to friends, Affleck’s grades "varied wildly," depending on whether or not he was interested in the subject and actually attended class. Affleck reports that he was typically absent and uninterested. Still, he was able to attend Occidental College, as well as the University of Vermont, going on to become a famous writer, actor, producer, and director.

  7. Ben Stein

    Most people know Ben Stein as an actor, but he is also a lawyer, writer, and political and economic commentator. He’s widely regarded to be intelligent, and is well-achieved academically, so it’s no surprise that his SAT score is rumored to be 1573. Stein presumably used his great score to get into Columbia University, where he majored in economics and graduated with honors. He also went to law school at Yale, where he was voted valedictorian not because he had the highest grades in his class, but because he was the most popular. Stein has certainly not kept his considerable knowledge to himself, teaching classes at American University, UC Santa Cruz, and even Pepperdine University Law School, where he was a professor from 1990 to 1997.

  8. Jennifer Ringley

    Jennifer Ringley’s name might not ring a bell for some people, but she is an Internet celebrity popularly known for her website, JenniCam, where she allowed others to view her life unfiltered. The jury is still out on whether her site was genius or crazy, but her SAT score is a clear 1400, indicating above-average intelligence for the Internet pioneer. There’s no denying, however, that Ringley was smart enough to attract major media attention, including The Wall Street Journal and The Late Show with David Letterman. She was also smart enough to embrace a very private life after shutting down her site in 2003, avoiding creating a personal web page or even a MySpace page.

  9. Asia Carrera

    If you don’t know who Asia Carrera is, that’s OK; you probably don’t watch porn. And although most people seem to enjoy her boobs more than her brains, she does have incredible intelligence, with an SAT score that was high enough to get her a full-ride scholarship to Rutgers. While in school, she stripped to make extra cash, and ended up in the porn industry. You can make your own decision on whether that was smart or not, but there’s no denying that Carrera was smart to design her own website. In fact, she learned HTML just so she could do it all on her own. Even if that doesn’t convince you that Carerra is smart, this will: her IQ is so high (reportedly between 154 and 156), she is a member of Mensa International.

  10. Will Smith

    Will Smith, also known as The Fresh Prince, is an incredibly successful Hollywood actor — so successful, in fact that in 2007, Newsweek called him the most powerful actor in Hollywood. This success is presumably due not only to his raw talent, but to his high intelligence, as well. Smith is rumored to have a perfect SAT score, but will only admit to the numbers being "pretty high." Although it’s widely reported that Smith turned down a scholarship from MIT, he never actually applied. A family friend was an admissions officer, and "they needed black kids," so combined with his high SAT score, Smith mused that he probably could have gotten in if he’d had any intention of going to college. Instead, Smith started out as the MC of a hip-hop duo, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, sparking his wildly successful career in the limelight.