SAT scores for Rockdale County Public Schools (RCPS) increased, while scores for the state and nation decreased slightly from 2019, state reports show.
The mean composite score for RCPS is 994, up from 979. The mean score for Georgia public schools is 1043 and the mean score for U.S. public schools is 1030, with 2019 scores 1048 and 1039 respectively.
“We are very pleased with our 2020 graduating seniors’ collective SAT Performance under extraordinary circumstances,” said RCPS Superintendent Terry Oatts. “Not even an unprecedented public health crisis can deter our graduating seniors from demonstrating their college and career readiness. As a district, our strategic focus is on providing our students meaningful and relevant advisement that optimally informs their postsecondary aspirations. 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 reiterated that the 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 SAT scores are comparable but comparisons to 2016 or earlier are not valid. 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.
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/mapyourfuture which 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 prep workshops and utilize free online SAT prep tools such as www.khanacademy.com