Georgia’s SAT Scores Rise as National Average Drops

| September 4, 2015

Education

ATLANTA – Georgia students’ SAT scores increased five points, even as the national average dropped seven points, 2015 score reports indicate.

Georgia students’ mean score for critical reading increased by two points, from 488 to 490, and the mean score for writing increased by three points, from 472 to 475. The mean score for math remained at 485.  Nationally, the mean scores for critical reading and math each dropped two points, and the mean score for writing dropped three points.

“I’m encouraged by these score increases because they signal that more students may be prepared for college-level work,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “As we continue to realign the focus of the Georgia Department of Education and pursue child-focused, classroom-centered policies, I believe we will see continued increases in SAT scores and other key indicators.”

In Georgia, 76.9 percent of students from the class of 2015 took the SAT – a total of 72,898 students. Of that group, 39.8 percent were underrepresented minority students, up from 38.8 percent in 2014 and 38.1 percent in 2011.

On the PSAT/NMSQT, 33,430 Georgia eleventh graders took the test, outscoring the nation in critical reading, math and writing. Georgia juniors recorded mean scores of 48.8 in critical reading, 49.5 in math, and 47.8 in writing, compared to the national average of 46.9 in critical reading, 48.6 in math, and 45.3 in writing. Georgia juniors’ critical reading and math mean scores did not change year-over-year, while the writing mean score decreased by 0.1 percent.

Data released by the College Board along with PSAT/NMSQT and SAT score reports give some indication of where Georgia’s college-bound students are heading. Among 2015 high school graduates who took one of the College Board’s tests – the SAT, the PSAT/NMSQT, or an AP exam – 58.3 percent are known to be enrolled in college, an increase from 57.2 percent the previous year. Many of those students – 80.1 percent – chose to enroll in Georgia universities.

The data also offer a look at students’ post-secondary plans, since SAT test-takers tell the College Board where to send their scores. Georgia Tech received the highest percentage (33.1 percent) of student scores, followed by the University of Georgia, Kennesaw State, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, and the University of North Georgia.

Quick Facts 

72,898 Georgia students in the class of 2015 took the SAT

In other words: 76.9 percent of Georgia’s class of 2015 took the SAT

Of those Georgia students who took the exam, 39.8 percent were underrepresented minority students

31.6 percent of students took the test using a fee waiver, compared to 27.5 percent in 2014 and 25.5 percent of the class of 2011

In Georgia in 2015, 179,089 students took the PSAT/NMSQT

Of those students, 40.3 percent were underrepresented minority students

Georgia Department of Education

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