Local students' SAT scores are among the highest in Georgia - WRBL

Local students' SAT scores are among the highest in Georgia

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Hardaway High School guidance counselor Laura Carr uses SAT prep websites Hardaway High School guidance counselor Laura Carr uses SAT prep websites

CollegeBoard has released this year's SAT scores for the state of Georgia. While the state's average remained the same, Muscogee County made a noticeable improvement.

Out of a possible 2400 points, Muscogee County students averaged 1435 on the SAT this year, up over 100 from last year's 1318. The improvement puts the county in 39th place out of 178 school districts statewide, and educators say it doesn't come easy.

Joyce Marie Lee, the S.T.E.M. Magnet coordinator at Carver High School, says, "When you are trying to raise the bar with students in the classroom and promote rigor and encourage them to strive for success, I think that all played a part in it."

Besides classroom work, many schools in the district have school-wide SAT Words of the Day and get students started early by making them take the PSAT freshman and sophomore year.

"They're just afraid before they even start," says Hardaway High School guidance counselor Laura Carr, "and so we try to get test prep out to them. We try to encourage them because they're usually pretty talented. It's just that fear."

While educators are happy to hear their students are doing better on the standardized test, they acknowledge there's always more work to be done. The guidance counselors at Hardaway struggle to get some students to read more on their own to improve vocabulary.

Guidance director Heather Osborn says, "They're so ingrained and entrenched in electronics that I think they're just getting literature and reading and writing at a different level than previous generations."

Carr makes websites like www.numbertwo.com part of her prep materials. She says students are more receptive when they can do exercises online instead of using a book.

"This allows us to meet students where they are in today's world from a technology aspect," she says.

Everyone agrees that parents should play a part in getting their kids prepared for the SAT. That helps students want to excel for themselves.

"I think what really makes the difference is the self-motivation of the student too," adds Lee. "It plays a part because a lot of these students want to attend a post-secondary institution, so they're going to strive to try to increase those scores."

The next SAT test date is coming up next week on Oct. 5. If you haven't registered your child for that one there's still time to sign up for the Nov. 2 test. The deadline is Oct. 3.

For parents looking to send their middle schoolers to one of the district's magnet schools, open houses are coming soon. Find important dates here.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.

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