Commerce High School students posted a 46-point improvement on the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) this year, but scores in both CHS and East Jackson Comprehensive High School remain well below the Georgia average.
CHS test takers during the 2011-12 school year averaged 458 on the reading portion, 477 on the math part and 456 in the writing component for a total average score of 1,391.
That compares to 1,345 last year, but is 46 points below the state average this year of 1,437.
The highest possible score is 800 in each category for a total attainable score of 2,400.
At East Jackson, the averages were 472 in reading, 467 in math and 447 in writing. The 1,386 total was down 30 points from last year.
Once again, Jefferson High School led local schools in the SAT with a 1,564 total, but that was down 53 points from last year. Jackson County Comprehensive High School students scored 1,457, up from 1,441 the previous year.
Nationally, SAT scores among public school students dropped slightly from 1,483 last year to 1,477 this year.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s SAT scores among public school students rose slightly from 1,431 last year to 1,437 this year. For all students — including private school students — the state’s average SAT score was 1,452, a seven-point increase from 2011.
According to the Georgia Department of Education, the state had the seventh highest participation rate in the U.S. for students taking the SAT. This year, 81 percent of Georgia students took the exam. States with higher participation rates typically see lower average scores on the SAT and often see dips when the number of students taking the exam increases.
“I’m extremely pleased that SAT scores increased so much this year,” said state school superintendent John Barge in a statement. “We jumped ahead of several states in our overall score, even as we saw our participation rate continue to increase.”