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GCPS tops state, national SAT averages

Gwinnett County Public Schools students didn’t score as well on the SAT as last year, but still performed better than their state and national peers.

The number of GCPS students who took the test increased from last year to 8,104 students, up from 7,798 in 2012, and a 28 percent increase since 2010, spokesman Jorge Quintana said.

The district composite score of 1,513 is a combination of the average critical reading, math and writing scores. This was the eighth class to take a version of the test that included a writing section. While GCPS’ composite score dropped five points, its critical reading score was up two points over last year’s score.

The average critical reading score in GCPS was 505, the average mathematics score of 518 and the average writing score of 490 in categories that range in scores from 200 to 800.

Seventy five percent of Georgia’s 2013 senior class took the SAT — more than 72,000 students — the ninth highest participation rate in the nation. Nationwide, 43 percent of students took the test.

Statewide, students scored an overall 1,452, while the national average was 1,498. The highest possible score is 2,400. Georgia students recorded an increase in critical reading, up two points, while the math score dropped two points. The writing score remained 468.

“While we didn’t see the same gains this year that we did in 2012, I am proud that our students held their ground on the SAT,” State School Superintendent John Barge said in a press release.

One hundred and sixty-two students at Buford City Schools took the test for a composite score of 1,495, including a 493 score in critical reading, 508 in math and 494 in writing.

Barrow County Schools recorded a composite score of 1,386 after 400 students took the test and scored 474 in critical reading, 460 in math and 452 in writing.

The top GCPS schools by composite score were the Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology (1,917), Brookwood High (1,612), North Gwinnett High (1,612), Parkview High (1,578) and Peachtree Ridge High (1,572).

Quintana said individual school averages can be greatly affected by unique characteristics of each year’s test takers. Students can improve their SAT scores by doing well in rigorous courses, reading challenging books and articles, and writing concise essays that include compelling details to support a persuasive argument.