13-year-old earns near-perfect score on SAT

Audrey Li, 13, scored a 1520 on the SAT, including a perfect 800 on the reading section. - Kyra Low/The Mirror
Audrey Li, 13, scored a 1520 on the SAT, including a perfect 800 on the reading section.
— image credit: Kyra Low/The Mirror

At Federal Way Public Academy, soon to be eighth-grader Audrey Li was already known as the girl who gets 100 percent on tests.

Now she will be known for that nationally.

Audrey, age 13, scored a perfect 800 on the reading section of the SATs. She also got a 720 on the math section, bringing her total to 1520 — and putting her in the top 10 for all 13-year-olds in the country. She also took the test when she was 12.

The SATs are typically taken during a high school student's junior or senior year as a college entrance test. However, the test can technically be taken at any point.

Audrey took the test after her mother said she wanted to see where she stood.

"Well I hope I am not taking it again," Audrey said with a laugh.

Audrey said she didn't really prepare much for the test.

"I took a couple of practice tests and read some vocab books," she said. "I thought I would do fairly well, but not that well."

She thought she did horrible on the essay portion.

"The essay was the hardest," Audrey said. "I wrote a horrible essay. It was like, ‘How does willpower affect success?’ I looked at the prompt and freaked out."

Audrey was honored at an end-of-the-year assembly for her test score, which she said was "embarrassing."

Audrey said her parents don't push her much on her school work; she does it on her own. It's more of an "as long as it gets done" rule, and then she can play on the computer or with her Ninetendo DS. Her mother does push her to practice the piano, she added. She's been playing the piano since age 4.

"Now I don't follow her as closely," said her mom, Wehyan. "Her level is above me."

"They really motivate themselves," Li's dad, Suyang Li, said of Audrey and her younger sister. Audrey also has a baby sister who isn't quite up to the school work yet. "Her mom only really pushes her to play piano. She's always been a really advanced reader though. She was 6 years old when she finished the first ‘Harry Potter.’ She wasn't even sure she was allowed to read it."

She quickly finished the other four books that were already published. The Harry Potter books are still her favorites.

When she took a reading test in first grade, she scored the reading level of sixth-grader, and by second grade, she was reading at a ninth-grade level.

"Then she kind of ran out of books," Suyang said. "Her ability exceeded her maturity and interest. She's now reading the classics, courtesy of her mother."

Her parents also said she has fairly normal interests and a relatively low-pressure life, except for the piano practice.

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