In eighth grade, Vienna’s Christopher Jones scored a 1400 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).
But this year Jones, now a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, outdid himself by 200 points.
That’s right, Jones scored a perfect 1600 when he took the test this past March.
He first found out about the score in early April. He was leaving school for a dentist’s appointment and called his mother, Wendy Hilton, to let her know he would be late. Earlier that day she had found out the score by calling a special S.A.T. hotline.
"I was stunned," Jones said, remembering the telephone call. "I didn’t say anything for a moment. Then I asked her, ‘Are you lying?’"
Of course Hilton was not lying. Proud of her son, she visited the SAT web site and found out that, of the 2.1 million students who take the test annually, only 21,000 score 800 points on either the verbal or math section of the test. And just 600 students, of which Jones was one, score perfectly on both sections.
Even so, Jones was not the only student at Thomas Jefferson to score a 1600. He knows of at least two other classmates who matched his score. One of those classmates is a friend from Jones’ humanities class.
"We have a friendly rivalry," Jones said. "Just stuff in class. Schoolwork. So it’s kind of funny we both got the same score."
More students may have scored 1600, but Jones doesn’t know for sure. The school never announced that he, or any other student, scored 1600.
"So many kids are so good at [Thomas Jefferson], they do so much stuff, that they don’t make a big deal out of it," Hilton said.
Jones said he has tried not to make a big deal out of his score, either. He has told some friends, but not too many other people.
"I don’t want to brag about it," He said.
JONES WOULD NOT be a good spokesperson for the review courses. He took no courses to prepare for the test. He said the score was "just the result of the past 11 years of school."
He said there were some sections of the test that seemed difficult, but he came out of the exam feeling he had done well. He did not expect a 1600, though.
Hilton said her son has always been good about his schoolwork, even since elementary school.
"Once he comes home, he has always done his homework first," she said.
Jones said he doesn’t work especially hard, but he isn’t a slacker either.
"I work until the work gets done," Jones said. "I don’t think I work all the time."
On top of school, Jones plays the clarinet. He is a member of the Thomas Jefferson marching band, the school’s jazz band, and other bands outside of school.
His favorite subject in school is science and he is thinking of studying either physics or astronomy in college. He has been visiting schools and his list includes Duke, the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton.