Some metro Atlanta districts see SAT scores drop, many outpace national average

Average SAT scores dropped in most metro Atlanta school districts from last year, but several districts' scores remained above the national public schools average.

SAT scores for Georgia’s class of 2020 decreased across most metro Atlanta public school districts, but several remained above the national public school average.

The SAT is made up of two sections, math and reading and writing, which are scored out of a total 1600 points. In Georgia, public school students in the class of 2020 scored an average of 1043 on the SAT, five points lower than the class of 2019′s average score. The district scores, released this month, show Georgia students outperformed the national average — which also dropped — from 1039 last year to 1030 for this year’s class.

Nearly 2.2 million students in the class of 2020 took the SAT, which was about the same level of the 2019 class, according to the College Board. While many students were unable to take the SAT due to the impact of COVID-19, the “overwhelming majority” of students in the class of 2020 were able to sit for the test before the virus caused caused scheduling problems and shutdowns.

ExploreGeorgia SAT scores outpace national average for third year

In metro Atlanta’s public schools, students in Forsyth County Schools had some of the highest scores. The average score for the class of 2020 dropped one point from 1162 last year to 1161 this year, according to data from the district’s website.

Students in Cobb County School District scored an average of 1107 on the exam, according to results released Monday. This average is seven points lower than last year’s average score of 1114. Fulton County Schools saw a similar change. Students there scored an average of 1078, according to the school district’s website, eight points lower than the class of 2019′s average score of 1086.

Clayton County Schools students scored an average of 943 on the exam, according to according to Georgia Department of Education data. This score is two points lower than the 2019 average of 945. DeKalb County School System students scored an average of 990 on this year’s SAT, which is four points lower than the class of 2019′s average score of 994.

Atlanta Public Schools' average score dropped 10 points, from 944 last year to 934 for the class of 2020, according to state data. Cherokee County School District’s scores dropped 15 points from 1115 last year to 1000 this year, but remain above the national public school average.

While decreases were the norm, there were a few metro Atlanta districts where average SAT scores increased from the previous year. Gwinnett County Public Schools' class of 2020 scored an average of 1097 on the SAT, according to results released Monday. This score is three points higher than the class of 2019′s average of 1094. Henry County Schools scores also increased—to 1010 for the class of 2020, a seven point increase.

Trends across metro Atlanta school districts follow national SAT score trends, where public school students nationwide scored an average of nine points lower than the previous year. In light of COVID-19, the University System of Georgia and more than 1,300 other colleges across the United States are waiving SAT and ACT requirements for 2021 admissions. Next year’s report will reflect the impact of COVID-19 on the class of 2021, said officials at the College Board.

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