Second Wilde Lake student gets perfect 1,600 SAT score

THE BALTIMORE SUN

A second student in Wilde Lake High School's class of 1998 has achieved the highest possible score on the SAT.

John Gu, 17, who will be a senior this fall, notched a score of 800 on the math section and another 800 on the verbal portion of the SAT.

Michael Kayser, who also will be a senior this fall, scored a 1,600 on the SAT in the spring.

The SAT is a test used by colleges to gauge how well students might be expected to do in their first year of college.

"I was pretty surprised," said John, who learned last week of his scores on the June exam. "I never thought I would actually get a 1,600."

In last fall's PSAT -- the pretest for the SAT, primarily used to determine National Merit Scholarship semifinalists -- John scored a 770 on math and a 700 on verbal.

"In the few practice exams I did before taking the SAT, I concentrated on the verbal," said John, who has a 4.0 grade point average in a schedule filled with gifted-and-talented and Advanced Placement classes. "I wasn't worried about my math, and I always did well on reading comprehension, but I needed practice on analogies and my vocabulary."

The Princeton, N.J.-based College Board -- which administers the test -- said only 545 of more than 1 million students in the Class of 1996 who took the SAT scored a 1,600.

The score of 1,600 doesn't mean John got every question correct. He actually missed one math question -- "I realized I had missed it as soon as I walked out of the test," he said -- and three questions on the verbal portion of the SAT.

But a 1,600 is still a 1,600, and that means John will be receiving a gift from his father. "He didn't think I could get a 1,600, so he promised to buy me a new, expensive tennis racket if I did it," said John, who lives in the Beaverbrook community.

John already has the racket picked out -- a long-handled Wilson model that costs about $150.

As he enters his senior year, John is beginning to look at colleges where he can study biochemistry. His top prospects are Duke University, the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland, College Park.

Pub Date: 7/16/97

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