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A look at Bryan County SATs

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POSTED: October 10, 2007 5:07 a.m.

Of the 379 Bryan County regular high school 2007 graduates, 265 or 70% took the SAT. Based upon the most recent scores, the averages for Bryan County graduates were 499 (critical reading), 508 (mathematics), and 482 (writing) for a total mean score of 1489. The national average was 1511 - 502 (reading), 515 (mathematics), and 494 (writing). Georgia’s average scores were 494 (critical reading), 495 (mathematics), and 483 (writing).

The following are the SAT score averages for the class of 2007:

National

Critical reading: 502(-1) Mathematics: 515 (-3)

Writing: 494 (-3)

Total (verbal/math): 1017 (-4)

Total (verbal/math/writing): 1511 (-7)

Georgia

Critical reading; 494 (0) Mathematics: 495 (-1)

Writing: 483 (-14)

Total (verbal/math): 989 (-1)

Total (verbal/math/writing): 1472 (-5)

Bryan County

Critical reading: 499 (-8) Mathematics: 508 (-1)

Writing: 482 (-11)

Total (verbal/math): 1007 (-11)

Total (verbal/math/writing): 1489 (-20)

The changes from the 2006 graduating class are included in parenthesis.

The 2007 graduating seniors of Bryan County ranked 26th when their scores are compared to all other school districts in the state having high schools. While the SAT is an individual student indicator and not intended to rank school districts and high schools, complete information about how students performed is available as a link from the Georgia Department of Education web site.

The March, 2005, administration of the SAT marked significant changes in the test. A new writing section was added to the test. Students are asked to write an essay that requires them to take a position on an issue and use reasoning and examples to support their position. The essay is similar to the type of writing required on in-class college essay exams. Multiple-choice questions measure a student’s ability to identify sentence errors, improve sentences, and improve paragraphs.

The new math section includes topics from third-year college-preparatory math, such as exponential growth, absolute value, functional notation, and negative and fractional exponents. Quantitative comparisons have been eliminated.

The critical reading section, previously known as the verbal section, includes short and long reading passages. Analogies have been eliminated, but sentence-completion questions remain.

There are both short and long-term suggestions for improving performance on the SAT. The short-term answer is that students should familiarize themselves with the SAT by taking practice tests. Students who take the PSAT/NMSQT® will receive Score Report Plus, which provides personalized feedback on their academic skills and identifies strengths and possible weak areas. Bryan County students are able to take the PSAT as tenth graders at no cost. Bryan County high schools and counselors provide test-preparation materials for students and teachers.

The long-term answer is that the best preparation for the SAT, and for college, is to take demanding courses within a strong curriculum. Students should write as often as possible and read challenging books and articles on a variety of subjects. Students taking the SAT must pursue a rigorous high school curriculum if they are going to be adequately prepared. A student’s preparation must begin much earlier than high school.

 

By Associate Bryan County Schools Superintendent John Oliver

 

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