LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. — A shot at perfection doesn’t happen often, but at 14 years old, Grace Murray embraced the challenge when she took the SAT exam this past June.  

“I thought if I do horribly, I can always take it again, I’ve got time, but definitely I was super stressed,” Murray told WGN News. “I feel like when you’re in the testing center, everyone is super nervous, so you get nervous too, even if you normally wouldn’t be.” 

Despite the nerves, Murray pressed forward. On Wednesday, she’d learned just how well she fared.  

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“So I opened up my computer and I just started screaming,” Murray said. “I was so happy.” 

The remarkable score was a perfect 1600. The rare feat, Murray says, has been a gratifying and rewarding experience.  

Grace Murray

While the rising high school junior will have to retake the test with her classmates next spring, Murray says she isn’t worried.  

“Scores supersede each other, so no matter if I take the SAT again, no matter how I do, I’ll have that 1600, so, super happy about that. Definitely takes the stress off,” Murray said.  

The 14-year-old has always excelled in her studies as a gifted student. She skipped the sixth grade and later enrolled at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire at age 13.

Murray studied for the exam during her free time, which she doesn’t have much of this summer.

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“I’m taking U.S. History this summer so that I can have more space to take classes next year,” Murray said. “I’m volunteering as well through my library district. I’m (also) taking online classes, just extra mathematics prep.” 

Preparation played a crucial part in Murray’s success and she encourages others to do the same. 

“YouTube has a lot of great instructional math, science and reading videos. Khan Academy, that’s a free service, and they have free SAT prep. That’s what I used.” 

As for Murray’s future, she plans to reach for the stars, literally. 

“This is one step closer to my dream job in NASA or SPACE X or one of those great companies,” Murray said. “Being an astronaut, working on rocket ships has always been my dream and now I feel like it’s definitely much closer within reach.”