Results released Sept. 26 by the Georgia Department of Education showed students who took the college entrance exam scored an average of 1,452 statewide.
It is the same as the 2012 average.
A two-point increase in reading was balanced out by a two-point drop in math scores while writing scores stayed flat.
The U.S. average score was 1,498, down from 2012’s 1,500
In a statement, State School Superintendent John Barge said even though the state’s 7 percent gain between 2011 and 2012 has eroded, there is room for optimism.
“While we didn't see the same gains this year that we did in 2012, I am proud that our students held their ground on the SAT,” he said. “We expect to see even better scores in the coming years as students become more engaged in their high school classes under our Career Pathways/Clusters initiative.”
The initiative provides students with a variety of career-related options, according to the department.
The state outpaces the nation in percentage of students taking the test.
“Seventy-five percent of Georgia’s 2013 senior class took the SAT – more than 72,000 students – compared to the national participation rate of 43 percent,” Barge said. “Georgia has the ninth highest participation rate in the nation. States with higher participation rates typically see lower average scores on the test and often see dips when the number of students taking the exam increases.”
Achievement gap narrows
Barge said the state is narrowing the gap between majority and minority students’ scores at a faster pace than the U.S.
“The achievement gap between African-American students in Georgia and their white classmates on the SAT is 176 points in Georgia, 44 points lower than the same achievement gap nationally,” he said. “For Hispanic students, the achievement gap in Georgia is 51 points, compared to the national achievement gap of 144 points.”
Barge cautioned against relying on rankings to compare one state to another.
“The SAT is a strong indicator of trends in the college-bound population, but it should never be used alone for such comparisons because demographics and other non-school factors can have a significant effect on scores,” he said. “If ranked, schools and states that encourage students to apply to college may be penalized because scores tend to decline with a rise in percentage of test-takers.”