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Junior scores ‘near-perfect’ on SAT

Reagan MckendreeReagan McKendree wasn’t shocked she achieved a near-perfect score on the SAT recently, but what it means for her future puts a smile on her face.

The Baker County High School junior scored 2320 out of 2400 points on the exam used as a common benchmark for college admissions and scholarship eligibility.

The 16-year-old from Cuyler garnered 220 out of 240 points on the pre-SAT, so she expected to do well on the SAT. “But I wasn’t thinking a perfect score on the math and reading,” Ms. McKendree said the morning of February 21, five days after taking the five-hour test.

She didn’t miss a single question on the reading or math portions of the test, but lost points on the writing and grammar sections.

“I was pretty happy,” said Ms. McKendree, adding that she didn’t realize how extraordinary her score was until guidance counselors and other faculty members, “made such a big deal of it.”

“I was like, ‘well, OK.’ This is a pretty big deal,” she said.

Prior to taking the SAT in the high school’s library, the youth spent about a month and a half studying a 3-inch-thick prep book from Princeton Review.

“It starts with an essay,” she said of the test, “and that kind of worried me because it’s 25 minutes and that’s a short amount of time to write a good essay ...  I just kind of went with it and wrote what I thought went best.”

The teen cruised through the math portion without a worry, but was more anxious about the reading and grammar sections because that’s where she had the most trouble on the pre-SAT.

“Grammar is always the hardest part,” she said.

Reagan is the daughter of Paula and Rodney McKendree and sister to Rhett, 13. She attends Raiford Roach Church south of Macclenny.

Paula McKendree said Reagan has “always had it together and been very motivated ... It’s just the way God made her.”

Still, she pointed to the efforts of  “some really great teachers she’s had along the way.”

What advice does she have for other parents?

“We always tell her, ‘do your best. If you do that, we’re proud of you.’ Every child’s different, but if you know they’re trying their hardest and doing the best they can, you should be happy with that,” said Paula McKendree.

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