By: Nicole at University Language On: November 20, 2009 In: Humor, Testing Comments: 40

What famous figure got a perfect SAT score – and which celebrity received a score less than 500?

Celebrities had to prepare for the SAT exam just like you, and their famous SAT scores might surprise you. Time Magazine lists some of these famous people who all went on to great success – even if you can’t tell by their SAT scores.

Remember that these scores are only from the Math and Verbal sections of the old SAT, for a possible total of 1600.

Highest Famous SAT Scores

Who has the highest famous SAT scores? No surprise here. Microsoft co-founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen earned scores of 1590 and 1600, respectively. The average SAT score has increased in the last few years, making these scores even more impressive for their time.

Also in the top are famous political commentator Bill O’Reilly, with an SAT score of 1585, and political speechwriter Ben Stein, who scored a 1573. You might remember Stein from his game show Win Ben Stein’s Money and his famous comedic acting in the 1980s classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, in which he played a boring but brainy professor. His famous high SAT score shows he has the smarts for the part!

Other celebrities with above average SAT scores include actress Natalie Portman, who allegedly received a score in the 1400s; and actor/musician Will Smith, who is rumored to have a perfect score but only admits to it being “pretty high.”

The Middle Ground

Famous horror author Stephen King and television host Meredith Vieira, of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and The Today Show, both scored in the 1300s on their SATs. In the same range is former vice-president Al Gore, who got a score of 1355.

Gore’s opponent in the 2000 election, then-President George W. Bush, famously scored a 1206 on his SATs. His challenger in 2004, Secretary of State John Kerry, scored a bit lower, earning an 1190. Bush and Kerry submitted these scores to the school they both attended: Yale University.

The Lower Scores

Kobe Bryant, famous shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, scored a 1080 on his SATs. Comedian Janeane Garofalo, who has also starred in films like The Cable Guy and Mystery Men, got a 950. Her score hasn’t affected her success: You can hear her voice in the recent animated movie Ratatouille (2007).

And who are the famous celebrities with the lowest SAT scores? Radio shock jock Howard Stern got an 870 on his SAT, placing him in the bottom.

But the celebrity with the infamously low score is Bill Cosby, who received less than a 500 on the test (the lowest-possible score at this time was a 400!).

Success Beyond a Score

When interpreting your SAT scores, keep in mind that you are much more than the results of a test. However, don’t discount the need to try your hardest – a little preparing for the SAT never hurt anybody.

Earning a high SAT score is a great accomplishment, but these famous SAT scores show that you’re remembered more for what happens after you leave the testing room and get into the real world!

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    • Zach
    • January 08, 2010
    • Reply

    this is fake… SAT scores are all divisible by 10

      • Polina
      • January 11, 2010
      • Reply

      Actually, it’s not fake, it’s just a different grading system. For people who graduated from high school before the early 1970s, there was a third digit (the ones digit) that varied from one person to the next. Current practice of rounding scores to the nearest ten better acknowledges the error band around each score.

    • LOLLLL_Bill_Oreilly1585_SAT_LOL!!!
    • February 25, 2010
    • Reply

    “Bill O’Reilly, with an SAT score of 1585, ”
    LOL!!!!!! if anyone is dumb enough to believe Oreilly scored 1585 I have some beach front property in Mongolia I would like to sell them.
    Now notice that this list has one thing in common. It tends to lists the higher scores to those who are conservatively leaning and the lower scores to those who are liberal leaning. This is yet another one of those fake chain emails being promulgated by right-wingers.
    I will say though I believe the SAT scores for Allen and Gates are correct though.

    • Polina
    • March 01, 2010
    • Reply

    We chose to post these particular SAT scores because they were the ones available to us (when researching), not based on any political bias.

    • Bob
    • July 06, 2010
    • Reply

    By pointing out which are conservatively leaning, you have shown your own bias — that conservatives cannot be intelligent.
    Incidentally, the scores reported on this page, agree with those reported in other locations at other times.

    • LOLLLL_Bill_Oreilly1585_SAT_LOL!!!
    • August 18, 2010
    • Reply

    ‘By pointing out which are conservatively leaning, you have shown your own bias — that conservatives cannot be intelligent. ‘
    the question isn’t if conservatives can’t be intelligent. The question is there any way Bill Orelly could have scored 1585? No way at all. I doubt he could have score above 1000. I wonder if he took the test.
    Polina. Researching? So tell us what the research consists of? Getting information from other websites that have all peddled along the same disinformation?
    Its obviously fake. Only idiots would think this was true.

    • Polina at University Language
    • August 18, 2010
    • Reply

    As the blog post states, all the information was collected from Time Magazine.

    • Keeton
    • September 03, 2010
    • Reply

    to: LOLLLL_Bill_Oreilly1585_SAT_LOL!!
    You are clearly an idiot. I am a huge liberal and Jon Stewart and Cobert are my heroes. That being said Bill O’Reilly most certainly could have attained that score. You may not agree with his points, but he is an intelligent well spoken man in his interviews. I bet he scored well on that test and bombed the “works-well-with-others” test.

    • Franklin
    • November 14, 2010
    • Reply

    Not true, I believe that SAT scores were at one time—pre-1974—not necessarily divisible by 10. If you look carefully, the only scores that are not divisible by 10 come from people who clearly took the test before 1974. If you want to see how different IQ estimates are depending on when you took the test, compare Garofalo’s post 1974 score with Namath’s 730 from before 1974 here:
    (Howard and Namath’s scores were both relatively better than Garofalo’s).

    • KeetonIsAnIdiot
    • April 26, 2011
    • Reply

    You’re not a liberal and only and idiot would claim
    that “but he is an intelligent well spoken man in his interviews.”. This is a guy who consistently gets taken
    in by the most idiotic claims(google “The Paris Business Review”). Only retard would believe most of those SAT
    scores and specifically Oreilly. once again you’re an idiot idiot

    • GFGFG
    • May 28, 2011
    • Reply

    Anyone who thinks a total moron like Oreilly got a 1585
    on the SAT is even more of a moron than Oreilly. I bet
    he didn’t even take the SAT. Beyond that where is the
    actual evidence? Produce the actual SAT with the score
    1585. What you demand Obama produce his birth certificate but accept at face value some moronic claim that Oreilly scored 1585 in his SAT you retard?

    • Izzy
    • August 30, 2011
    • Reply

    I went to school with O’Reilly, Chaminade in Mineola, Long Island. You guys can laugh all you want, call him an ass all you want, say whatever you want. But two things remain true, he’s a hell of lot more successful than you’ll ever be, and he really is, head and shoulders, your intellectual superior. Go ahead, check out some SAT scores for Chaminade graduates, scholarships earned, and National Merit awards.
    You leftist clowns continue to live in a place where you believe simply hoping something makes it so. He could probaly kick your pansy asses, too.

    • Dan
    • January 12, 2012
    • Reply

    I doubt O’Reilly got 1585.
    I’m sure he did pretty well though. Much as I loathe him, he did go to Harvard. People don’t go to Harvard with a score, of say, 1000.

    • MoreIdiotRight-wingers
    • April 28, 2012
    • Reply

    Izzy a right-wing idiot said
    “and he really is, head and shoulders, your intellectual superior.”
    Only an idiot would say that. This is the same idiot
    O’reilly who essentially called Robert Reich a communist.
    He consistently shows his ignorance by misusing such basic terms like “socialist”, “marxist” or “communist”.
    You routinely claims taxes are too high while ignoring
    the very easily verifiable fact that taxes as a share of the economy are the lowest since 1950, income taxes are the lowest since 1950 and overall tax burden is the lowest since 1958.
    He isn’t just ignorant but damn ignorant on even the most basic facts. He also can’t seem to use basic induction and deduction.
    But I’m not surprised that you would be advocating for
    Oreilly. I mean an idiot who says “he could probaly kick your pansy asses, too.” would show the same kind
    of juvenile idiocy that is so common in Oreilly. An idiot advocating for an idiot.
    No surprises there

    • MoreIdiotRight-wingers
    • April 28, 2012
    • Reply

    Oh and
    “Go ahead, check out some SAT scores for Chaminade graduates, scholarships earned, and National Merit awards.”
    “check out”
    You idiot. You just don’t “check out” people’s
    SAT score as if they were open to the public.
    You think they work that way? If you think so then
    provide the evidence. Provide a reliable link
    of that high school showing Oreilly’s SAT score
    BTW has Oreilly even mentioned anything about his
    SAT score?
    Elitot Spitzer and Chuck Schumer have both been on
    record as saying they received a 1590 and a perfect 1600 SAT respectively.

    • MoreIdiotRight-wingers
    • April 28, 2012
    • Reply

    Dan says
    “I doubt O’Reilly got 1585.
    I’m sure he did pretty well though. Much as I loathe him, he did go to Harvard. People don’t go to Harvard with a score, of say, 1000.”
    O’Reilly didn’t go to Harvard as an undergrad. He got a
    Master of Public Administration at Harvard which at best might have asked for GRE scores. But a Master of Public Administration wouldn’t be like getting into the Physics program at Harvard where you would expect GRE scores to be high
    Bottom line is O’Reilly didn’t come even close to
    a 1585 SAT. NO way

    • ThanksStumbleUpon
    • January 05, 2013
    • Reply

    Found this article via StumbleUpon. Thought it was a little interesting. What I thought was far more interesting is that someone has come back here several times over a span of two years to flame everyone that has attempted to defend Bill O’Reilly. You, sir, deserve a medal, and a brand new coloring book. Stay inside the lines

    • June 04, 2013
    • Reply

    IQ’s, Sat’S,Achievement tests and the like to determine superiorities are myths, illusions,illusive,frauds, and fraudulent. They are mainly beacons of dependent academicists and anti-professionals to wear the errants and get people to get good things free and nondeserving.They are misleading. They are traits of a misdirecting fake civilization. One may agree it’s okay to get the high scores, but not if separate people use them to identify top people, who are not top.

    • Octavia Diaz
    • June 04, 2013
    • Reply

    Some people have too much time on their hands!!!!

    • Austin E.
    • June 04, 2013
    • Reply

    To all those which are saying some of the people in this article are to stupid to get those scores (Bill Oreilly supposedly), you have to consider the fact that when they took these tests they might not have known they were going to be in the proffesion that they are in. The way they act on T.V. or on the radio shouldn’t reflect on a high school test.

    • Jim
    • June 04, 2013
    • Reply

    The statements above that conservatives like Limbaugh could not be that intelligent are totally moronic. Gates and O’Reilly reportedly scored almost the same…. one is liberal….the other is conservative. These tests can give a rough idea of intelligence but are not foolproof. My son was valedictorian of his (large) high school. His SAT score was good but not great. He told me that he had a headache during the test and it really dragged him down. He could have taken it over but decided not to…he still made it into med school because he has so many other talents (much better than his old man!).

    • missieholmes
    • June 05, 2013
    • Reply

    O’Reilly isn’t dumb or stupid, he just thinks that everyone else is and knows that if he repeats the same lies to the same ignorant people long enough, like the Nazis and Marxists did, they’ll believe it. That’s the strategy of the Republican Party. The little people trust them and they are slowly being brainwashed into hating the other party due to racial prejudices and biases not realizing that all their Party is doing is manipulating them and keeping them poor, sending their jobs overseas and leaving them without healthcare or job security. Before they know it, we’ll be back in the Middle Ages, then it’ll be too late. It’s a sorry stuation

    • HammerinHank
    • June 21, 2013
    • Reply

    It would be interesting to see an actual comparison of Conservative vs. liberal SAT scores since consertivatives basically believe in self achievement and reward whereas liberals basically believe in government control and support.

    • Tiredofidiots
    • June 21, 2013
    • Reply

    The idiot LOLLL_Bill_Rielly, etc, shows his idiocy even before he spews his stupid left leaning slant. It is a shame that our educational system is turning out such shallow thinkers, and in such numbers. Taxes are far too high, and Reagan showed that lowering taxes actually raises revenue. Obama was very ready to dispute this well hidden fact in his debate #2 with Gov. Romney. It is one of our government’s dirty little secrets. Along with the assumption that the IRS is either fair or necessary.
    As to the idea that the SATs have nothing to do with intelligence and potential, I would say the same if my test scores were abysmal. Which this clown’s probably were,if he actually sat for the test.
    Garaffalo’s score was not a surprise. Her rants are stupid and pointless.
    Bill O’Reilly is obviously intelligent, even if he is a conservative. conservatives tend to think that they can make it on their own; “liberals” either want the government to flop out a “tit” for them to suck off of, or they simply left their brain at the door years ago.
    By the way, liberalism actually died in the late 1960’s and what we have today is a thinly disguised form of fascism. By the time this generation of brainiacs figure this out, it will probably be best to know Chinese.
    As in the owrds of Gearge Washington, “We gave you a democracy, if you can keep it”. I think we are about done with our Constitution, and Obama likes to take a dump on it whenever he can. If you believe that his degradation of our country and government are accidental, then you one of those who maintain that the SAT scores and intelligence are not at all related.

    • Hard Truth
    • June 21, 2013
    • Reply

    not only did o’reilly score that high, he went on to become a history teacher, went to harvard, has a master’s degree and has more ny times best sellers than anyone else i can think of. he also has made more money than all of the people commenting on how stupid he is combined. his book, killing lincoln, is one of the best books ever written about lincoln.

    • Doug
    • June 21, 2013
    • Reply

    Just like today’s fascists (liberals) to deny any truth that does not advance their agenda.

    • Preston
    • June 21, 2013
    • Reply

    How does an statement on SAT scores turn into a politcal attacks? Comments on both sides are riddled with logical fallacies. If people want to know the real key difference between right and left, look at a laffer curve graph. Everything else is just details!!!

    • Bob Kelley
    • June 21, 2013
    • Reply

    Wasn’t it Will Rogers that said, “All Republicans are not stupid, but most stupid people tend to be Republican.”?

    • Preston
    • June 21, 2013
    • Reply

    And fascism is when someone wants to restore a government back to a early time.

    • sue
    • June 21, 2013
    • Reply

    Some people are never exposed to what you called higher IQ. Like people living in projects or poor neighborhoods. Some people never get the chance to just study. It takes studies to get smart. looking down your nose at anyone with a low score test yourself. People with low score may have other abilities that you do not possess.

    • Ann
    • September 07, 2013
    • Reply

    It is true what Sue said. My husband’s SAT score was 800’s which was taken in 1981. He was just basically bored in school and his parents were probably too busy to notice what he could have become. He earned six-figures income and had never set foot in the college. He does work his tail-end off. He is not the brightest light-bulb when it comes to writing but he has gotten the technical know-how. I bet the majority of you here don’t fix your own car and have never handle a wrench.
    Do I think of you as being stupid because some of you are lacking the technical know-how? Of course not. Like-wise, low SAT means nothing to the real-world.

    • Pat Jayking
    • September 19, 2013
    • Reply

    Astronaut Judith Resnick who died in the Challenger explosion. A graduate of Firestone High School in 1966, she excelled in mathematics and played classical piano. While at Firestone she achieved a perfect SAT score, the sole female to do so that year.
    Huey Lewis had a perfect 800 math score.

    • OhLookAnotherDumbassRightWinger
    • December 23, 2013
    • Reply

    Tiredofidiots IS AN IDIOT.
    It said
    “s. Taxes are far too high, and Reagan showed that lowering taxes actually raises revenue”
    You idiot. At least as of 2011 the overall tax burden in this country has been the lowest since 1958. Federal Income taxes as a share of income is the lowest since in decades. How could you be so ignorant?
    and lowering taxes doesn’t raise revenues you moron. In 1993 when Clinton raised taxes do you think that revenue went down? No they sky rocket.
    and so surprise surprise you’re a stupid right-winger who laughably makes comments on who is and isn’t intelligent including the idiotic comment that Oreilly is intelligent. OREILLY ISN’T INTELLIGENT. HE IS AN IDIOT JUST LIKE YOU.
    The Idea that Oreilly had a 1585 is laughable. He probably didn’t even take the Sat.

    • OhLookAnotherDumbassRightWinger
    • December 23, 2013
    • Reply

    Jim said
    “Jim Says:
    The statements above that conservatives like Limbaugh could not be that intelligent are totally moronic. Gates and O’Reilly reportedly scored almost the same…. one is liberal…”
    Where is the evidence that Gates is a liberal? I think he is Apolitical. Also No said conservatives can’t score high on the SAT(but these days that seems to be less and less likely) but people are saying that the idea that someone specifically like Limbaubh and Oreilly having a SAT that high is absurd. They both don’t have even close to the intelligence to score that high. I would wager that neither of them actually took the SAT. Limbaugh only attended Southeast Missouri State University for just two semesters. I’m sure he didn’t even take the SAT and I don’t think Oreilly did to.

    • OhLookAnotherDumbassRightWinger
    • December 23, 2013
    • Reply

    So this page here is about who is intelligent and who is not. Well certainly some of the posters here are not only NOT intelligent but very dumb. Take this right-winger spewing the same old tiresome idiotic right-wing narratives
    “conservatives tend to think that they can make it on their own; “liberals” either want the government to flop out a “tit” for them to suck off of, or they simply left their brain at the door years ago.”
    How stupid do you have to be to spew such nonsense? Actually red states are more dependent on the government than blue states. Red States take more from the federal government than the give back in taxes. In rural red areas(at least in the state of Oregon) is where the unemployment rates are the highest and the highest % of people using food stamps

    • OhLookAnotherDumbassRightWinger
    • December 23, 2013
    • Reply

    Oh and this same right-winger who claims that liberalism and fascism are essentially the same thing, is spewing yet another dumb ignorant right-wing narrative. Todays liberals have far less to do with fascism than todays right-wingers. Its todays right-wingers that have much more in common with fascist of the past(corporatism, zenaphobia, racism,etc..). Its right-wingers that have celebrated racist anti-semetic hiter admirers like right-wing death squad fascist Roberto D’Aubuisson.
    Back in the 1930s’ it was a bunch of right-wing fascist corporatism that had planned to overthrow FDR.
    The fact is despite the right-wing trying to rewrite history here, fascism has always been linked STRONGLY to the right-wing. Its the right-wing that is more likely to promote racist nationalism and corportaism along with violent means to get what it wants.
    Only right-wing liars and ignoramuses would claim liberalism and fascism are essentially the same thing

    • OhLookAnotherDumbassRightWinger
    • December 23, 2013
    • Reply

    Getting back to SAT scores. If you’re looking for more reliable SAT scores for politicians I would look at
    ELiot Spitzer(this is from the much more reliable NY TImes) who claims(note that to my knowledge oreilly and Limbaugh haven’t even claimed to have taken the SAT let alone get any high score on the SAT) to have gotten a 1590 SAT on the old SAT and a perfect LSAT score
    “Along the way, Eliot suffered setbacks, or what for him counted as setbacks. His ambitions of going to Harvard were derailed when he was not accepted, so he went to Princeton instead. In an interview, his father also let forth a family secret: that his son had scored a perfect 1,600 on the SAT. Confronted with this, Mr. Spitzer winced, and conceded imperfection.
    “I think it was 1,590,” he said, adding that his father must have confused the SAT with his perfect LSAT score.”

    • OhLookAnotherDumbassRightWinger
    • December 23, 2013
    • Reply

    Chuck Schumer supposedly got a perfect 1600 on the SAT
    This is from the Washington Post and not some no name blog claiming this or that without any real proof
    “He was valedictorian at Madison High School in Brooklyn, with 1600 SAT scores. His parents and sister recall that he was never nervous about exams at school. In fact, they say he enjoyed tests. He was devoted to public-affairs programming on television, loved thick biographies of worthy statesman and edited the high school paper. Whatever rebellion he felt, he expressed by playing pick-up basketball.”
    It should be noted that Schumer went to harvard as an undergrad and Spitzer went to princeton as an undergrad
    and they both went to harvard law school so unlike Limbaugh and Oreilly, Schumer and Spitzer do have the kind of academic credentials to make a claim of having a high SAT much more believable. Oreilly just went to Marist College as an undergrad and just majored in Art History. Granted he later on went to harvard as a graduate student but that was for a master of public administration in 1996 after already established himself as a media figure not so much because of merit and certainly not high SAT scores(which aren’t required for graduate school). Limbaugh’s academic record is even more pathetic having spent only two semesters at some loser school(Southeast Missouri State University)
    So if want better proof of a high likelihood of some famous politicians scoring high on the SAT look at Chuck Schumer and Eliot Spitzer. Of course since they are both Democrats the same idiot right-wingers who make idiotic comments about liberals will bash Spitzer and Schumer both and say they are too stupid to score that high on the SAT even though clearly Schumer and Spitizer are orders of magnitude more intelligent than them and all their right-wing heroes

    • David S. McQueen
    • June 04, 2014
    • Reply

    “Ohlook” does ramble on in defense of his beloved liberals (aka “America Haters”), doesn’t he, but his arguments fall flat when he (it?) consistently uses name calling (the ad hominem fallacy) to make his points. An SAT score proves nothing but is merely a threshold to eliminate the obvious dummies from getting into college. If liberals were truly intelligent (instead of immature), they wouldn’t be liberals.

    • geo whets
    • June 05, 2014
    • Reply

    But the one SAT score we will never know is of course,the Constitutional Scholar,the current president himself,Pres Barack H Obama. This information like so many other facets of his life is information not available to the public. The more we see of his performance the more we should understand why.

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