PALM HARBOR – Reaping the benefits of studying hard is nothing new for Aadith Moorthy, a junior at Palm Harbor University High School.
In 2010, as an eighth-grader, Moorthy learned 20 new facts about the world each day. That preparation resulted in him winning the National Geographic Bee and a $25,000 college scholarship.
Now at age 16, he has a cell phone, but only uses it for emergencies and seldom watches television. But he still sets goals. Moorthy wanted to make a perfect score on the SAT. He studied hard. He took more than 20 SAT practice test before attempting the test for the first time in March. He researched the origins and meanings of more than 5,000 new words.
“On the day the results were to come out, I go to turn on the computer to see the scores but it would not let me log on,” Moorthy said. “I tried again, and again. The tense atmosphere began to rise in the room. I found a back door link to see my scores. I wasn’t able to understand what was there at first and I had to refresh the page three times.”
But Moorthy had obtained his goal: a perfect score on the SAT, earning a combined score of 2400 on the math, reading and writing sections of the exam.
“It was unbelievable and then me and my parents hugged each other,” he said, as a huge smile came over his face. “We were overjoyed and my parents were extremely proud of me.”
Octavio Salcedo, the director of testing, research and accountability for Pinellas County Schools, said a perfect score is very rare.
Salcedo said that in the January and March 2013 SAT administrations, Moorthy was the only perfect score. In January, 670 students took the SAT with an average score of 1508. In March, 933 students took the SAT with an average score of 1528.
As a comparison, 3,624 of last year’s seniors that graduated in June took the SAT during high school and there were no perfect scores for that group. Their average score was 1507, Salcedo said.
Moorthy said he plans to go to a yet to be determined Ivy League school to conduct research on alternative energy and energy storage.
“We need a long-term solution for energy storage,” he said. “Energy storage is what we are lacking. When I was studying for the geography bee, I studied a lot of places that were impoverished and could not have electricity. There are a lot of places that have blackouts and energy storage would help. That influenced me to think about alternate energy.”
This story was submitted by Pinellas County Schools Communications Department.