SAT scores for high schools around the state have just been released for last year’s graduating class, Class of 2019, and scores for Rockdale County Public Schools (RCPS) followed the state and national trend with a decrease from 2018.
The mean composite score for RCPS is 979, down from 995. The mean score for Georgia public schools is 1048 and the mean score for U.S. public schools is 1039, both down from 1054 and 1049 respectively.
The 2019 class represented the largest number of SAT test takers in four years and was the largest graduating class to date in RCPS, earning over $20 million in scholarships with an increased graduation rate over the previous year.
“As a district, our focus is on affording our students effective advisement that optimally informs their postsecondary planning and preparation to include their choice of college entrance exams,” said Superintendent Terry Oatts. “No singular college entrance exam is wholly indicative of students’ prospective success in college as the College Board itself readily concedes; however, we are committed to punctuating our students’ college and career readiness by enhancing a wide range of indicators including but not limited to college entrance exam performance, end-of-pathway assessment performance, and pathway aligned work-based learning placements.”
In its release, the Georgia Department of Education said two years ago, the 2017 SAT results set a new baseline for year-to-year comparisons. Reports prior to 2017 were based on the old SAT, which had a different score scale and different benchmarks. The 2017, 2018, and 2019 SAT scores are comparable. Comparisons to 2016 or earlier are not valid.
Students should be sure to complete the necessary core academic and Advanced Placement courses prior to taking college entrance exams. Often students take these tests before they have exposed themselves to the rigor of Advanced Placement courses, which are critical to posting a high score on this type of assessment. RCPS supports its students’ aspirations to go to college and will continue to provide free SAT preparation and improved advisement to parents and students so that they may achieve this goal.
RCPS has a guide for parents and students called Map Your Future at www.rockdaleschools.org/mapyourfuturewhich outlines the best approach and timeline for preparing to take college entrance exams beginning at the middle school level. SAT scores cannot be significantly increased through short-term preparation programs or memorization strategies. Students must be exposed to higher level concepts, complex reading material, and sophisticated problem-solving activities at an early age. As a school district, RCPS will continue to provide increased opportunities for advanced and enriched learning that exceeds that of the basic curriculum.
RCPS recommends the following guidelines for students to be successful with college entrance exams:
- Know which entrance exam is required by the college for which you are applying (ACT, SAT).
- Ideally, students should take entrance exams at the beginning of their senior year after successful completion of core content courses.
- Students should complete at least one Advanced Placement course prior to testing.
- Students in 11th and 12th grades should attend SAT prepand utilize free online SAT prep tools such as www.khanacademy.com.