SAT scores dip in GA; climb in Dougherty County -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

SAT scores dip in GA; climb in Dougherty County

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By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Georgia students continue to score lower on the SAT than students in almost every other state. The average score in Georgia is getting worse.

Number's released Monday show Georgia scores dropped for a fourth straight year.

A guidance counselor at Westover High School says the state stopped funding SAT Prep classes four years ago. Many people believe that may be connected to the four year dip.

 Students across the state will delve into their SAT packets for the first time this fall. Westover High School Junior, Emily Bradshaw, plans to take hers in the Spring. She's been prepping with practice tests.

"I'm really worried, mostly about the writing portion because I'm not really that great of a writer," said Bradshaw.

In fact, writing is one of the weakest points at all high schools in Dougherty County. Westover and Dougherty High went up no more than two points from 2009 to 2010, but Albany dipped 11 points and Monroe dropped 17.

Bradshaw believes a SAT prep course could help her score climb higher. Guidance Counselor Tracy Knighton agrees.

"When students had a chance to take SAT prep course in the building, I think our scores were a lot better because students had more hands-on preparation verses taking an online course," Knighton added.

The average gain after taking an SAT prep course is roughly 30 points, according to the National Association for College Admission Counselors.

Knighton says eliminating the courses in Georgia schools is just one factor that's hurting scores.

School counselors say social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace are creating short attention spans which could impact scores further down the road.

"To have everything instantly for them on the computer keeps their attention. An SAT passage that lasts 45 minutes is not going to grab your attention for very long," Knighton noted.

As Knighton continues to provide advice for the 3.5 hour exam, Bradshaw will strive for the highest score she can achieve.

Dougherty County students improved their SAT scores. This year, the average score jumped from 1292 to 1301. That's out of a perfect score of 2400.

The current national average is 1509. Georgia's average score is just above 1450. That's a 7-point drop from last year. Georgia ranks 48th out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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