Dubai teen among top 1% globally in SAT test scores

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on April 3, 2021
Supplied photo

Sreekar Gudipati scored 1570 out of 1,600 points in the SAT test.

Sreekar Gudipati who scored 1570 out of 1,600 points in the SAT test ranks among the top one per cent of millions of SAT test takers globally.

The 17-year old student of GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa whose A-Level subjects are Maths, Further Maths, Economics and Computer Science, managed an exemplary score of 770/800 in English and 800/800 in Maths.

“The SAT (formerly called ‘Scholastic Aptitude Test’) is an exam that I decided to do to bolster my application to the American universities I’ll be applying to; specifically, Wharton Business School in the University of Pennsylvania. I want to study economics there. A bunch of other universities I’ve applied to also want high scores in the SAT exams”, says the Indian expat.

The SAT is one of the major college admission tests in the United States and while there’s no score one needs to pass the exam, a higher score can increase their chances of getting accepted into a college of one’s choice.

Gudipati said only repeated practice and identifying his errors made him a high scorer. “The way I approached this is, that I spent a week or so with English — the writing section, I spent a week writing my grammar rules, my vocabulary, and with Maths I went over the content real quick because Mathematics is my forte. If you are planning to go to a top US university, the subject test is a good option to take. I did Math Level 2 and I got 800 in that, so I am hoping that will boost my application.”

Receiving acceptance from decorated colleges, means rigorous routines and often relentless hard work, explains Sreekar.

“If one is doing decently well at the school level, the foundational skills that one needs for SAT gets accumulated by a person during the foundational years by Grades 10 and 11. But what is really important is preparing for the actual exam, really practicing and getting used to the exam and getting acclimated to the way the questions are asked.”

After that my main source was to practise tests and questions. I logged onto Khan Academy and found a lot of questions there as well. That was my main source of preparation and practice. I did every single practice test twice and laid emphasis on learning from my mistakes. I noted down every mistake and made sure I knew why it was wrong, so that if it came up again I’ll be able to answer it right. I averaged about 15 hours a week of SAT practice”, he adds.

Outside school, Sreekar has spent many years playing cricket, having gone to the UK, India and Oman with his cricket academy. He is also a self-taught guitarist who has a great passion in playing and listening to music.

Additionally, he has been heavily involved in the school community, having been in the Mental Health and Wellbeing Council and the Sustainability Council, apart from spending many years in student leadership.

His advice to anyone taking the SAT “would be to start early.”

“Make sure you understand the concepts deep enough to be able to apply them under lots of time pressure. From there, the most vital thing would be to practice SAT style questions as much as possible – under timed conditions – to accustom oneself to the questioning style, time pressure and the mental fatigue one feels while taking the test. Once you’ve done sufficient practice, all that matters is saying focused and confident on the day,” says the Dubai teen.

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