SAT scores better than state, below U.S. averages
Writing section scores show promise for CCGPS implementation
By Kathryn Schiliro
Recent SAT data shows Morgan County test-takers are ahead of state and most area totals when it comes to average score.
Morgan County High School (MCHS) Principal Dr. Jim Malanowski and Coordinator of Advanced Programs Mark Argo, also a math teacher at the school, informed the county Board of Education (BOE) Monday evening that the school's 2012 college-bound seniors scored an average of 487 on the Critical Reading portion of the SAT, 497 in Mathematics and 493 in Writing–the average total score came to 1477.
The SAT is made up of three 800-point sections–Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing–and scores range from 600 to 2400.
The MCHS SAT Critical Reading average was one point lower than the state average of 488 and nine points lower than the national average of 496.
The MCHS SAT Mathematics average was eight points higher than Georgia's 489 average, but fell 17 points below the U.S. average of 514.
The MCHS SAT Writing average was higher than both the state average of 475 and national average of 488. This average is especially important in regards to the soon-to-be-implemented Common Core standards–the 46-state initiative to standardize curriculum–which require much more writing of students.
"The Common Core is all about writing," Argo said.
Overall, MCHS SAT test-takers' total average comes to 1477–25 points above the state average of 1452, but 22 points below the national average of 1499.
Compared to area schools, only North Oconee, with a 1590 average; Oconee, with a 1551 average; and Jefferson, with a 1564 average, scored better than Morgan County.
Argo explained that these numbers represent the most recent administration of the SAT; if seniors took the test more than once, their best scores might not be represented in these numbers. For the more-than-once SAT test-takers, most colleges and universities–including the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech–will combine students' best averages on each of the sections–called a "Super Score"–in compiling their SAT score and considering students for admission.
MCHS has seen growth in the "Super Score" area over the past four years: the average "Super Score" in 2009 was 1376; 1438 in 2010; 1483 in 2011; and 1528 in 2012.
Interestingly enough, some institutions, including Georgia Tech, will even combine the best of a student's SAT and ACT scores–the ACT is another standardized test commonly used for college admission–to get a composite score. This is called a "Super Duper Score."
Most states in the nation that encourage students to take the SAT–the SAT is more popular in the east and California, while the ACT is more popular in the Midwest–will only test a handful of selected students, maybe 10 percent. Georgia focuses more on participation and state schools encourage students to take the SAT; Georgia is in the top 10 states in the nation as far as SAT participation, testing more than 80 percent of students, BOE member Keith Howard said.
Printed in the October 11, 2012