Gwinnett County Public Schools officials are touting that the district’s average total SAT score this year outpaced both the state and national average scores.
On Monday, the district released information about how its 2020 graduating class cohort did on the SAT. The district’s average score was 1,097. By comparison, the National average was 1,030 for public schools and 1,051 for public and private schools combined. Meanwhile, the Georgia average score for public schools was 1,043 and average for both public and private schools was 1,053. The highest score a high school student can earn on the SAT is 1,600.
“Gwinnett’s average on the SAT topped state and national averages on both sections (Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing and Math) of the test,” district officials said in a statement.
One key bit of information district officials reported was that it saw increases in two demographic groups in mean composite scores, including a one-point increase for Black students (2020 score was 1,028) and an 11-point increase for Hispanic students (2020 score was 1,046).
More Black and Hispanic students also met College and Career Readiness Benchmarks, according to the district. Officials reported 37% of Black students met the benchmarks in both math and Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing, up from 35% in 2019.
The percentage of Hispanic students meeting benchmarks in both areas was 42%, up from 38% in 2019.
“Gwinnett’s 2020 scores also bring positive news in the area of equity,” the school system said. “The GCPS Class of 2020 College and Career Readiness Benchmark scores increased from the Class of 2019.
“Fifty-four percent of students in the Class of 2020, who took the SAT, met both the math and ERW benchmark, up from 51%. While 79% met the ERW benchmark, up from 77%. Those meeting the math benchmark increased to 56%, up from 54% for the Class of 2019.”
The district said that there were more than 800 fewer students from Gwinnett County who took the SAT during the last school year, versus the preceding one. They attributed the drop to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused test dates to be canceled this past spring.
In 2020, there were 8,166 Gwinnett students who took the assessment test, compared to 8,977 reported last year.
The Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology had the highest average total score, which was 1,361, in the district.
Among the 10 highest total average scores in GCPS, GSMST was followed by: North Gwinnett High School (1,195); Gwinnett Online Campus (1,145); Brookwood (1,143); Mill Creek (1,131); Peachtree Ridge (1,129); Parkview (1,116); Collins Hill and Mountain View (both 1,105); and Duluth high schools (1,102).
Six Gwinnett high schools saw their scores increase, including Archer (14 points), Barkmar (24 points), Discovery (19 points), Meadowcreek (19 points), Mill Creek (one point) and Norcross (10 points).
The McClure Health Science High School and the Paul Duke STEM High School posted their first-ever SAT numbers in 2020 as well.
The other 15 schools saw their average SAT total score decrease from 2019 to 2020, however.
“Individual school averages can be greatly affected by the unique characteristics of each year’s test takers,” district officials said. “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.”