Why the number of Atlanta students taking SAT exam has soared

An SAT prep class at the Business of Sports School in New York, March 1, 2016.  (Yana Paskova/The New York Times)
An SAT prep class at the Business of Sports School in New York, March 1, 2016. (Yana Paskova/The New York Times)

Credit: YANA PASKOVA

Credit: YANA PASKOVA

The number of Atlanta Public Schools students taking the SAT college-admissions exam soared thanks to a program that lets students take the test at no cost during the school day.

Ninety percent of Atlanta students who graduated in 2019 took the SAT, compared to 57% of the class of 2018.

District officials said a recently launched "SAT School Day" program is a key reason why 883 more students in this year's graduating class took the test. The program, paid for by the scholarship organization Achieve Atlanta, began with the class of 2019. Students were able to take the exam in their own schools during the school day at no charge.

The district said that arranging transportation to a testing site and paying for the test had been barriers to taking it.

The district’s total mean score this year was 944, compared to 997 last year.

A perfect score on the SAT math and reading and writing sections is a 1600. The statewide mean score for Georgia’s public-school students this year was a 1048.

The Georgia Department of Education released district and school scores on Tuesday.

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