Atlanta Public Schools’ students scored 10 points lower than the previous year and their score remained below the state and national averages on the 2020 SAT, according to the data released by The College Board and the Georgia Department of Education Sept. 21.

The Atlanta district had an average SAT score of 934, which was well below the state (1043) and nation (1030).

The SAT consists of two sections, evidence-based reading and writing (EBRW) and math with an optional essay section. Both sections are scored on a scale from 200 to 800 points. The essay, if taken, is scored separately.

While the district’s average was below the state and national ones, its two Buckhead high schools fared much better. Atlanta Classical Academy led the district with a score of 1151, though it was 105 points lower than 2019. North Atlanta had a score of 1033, 23 points below last year’s score. The drop in scores partly could be due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced all schools across the nation to switch from in-person classes to online instruction in March.

State School Superintendent Richard Woods said he was pleased with Georgia’s average, given the hardships students faced this year due to the pandemic.

“The class of 2020 has faced unprecedented adversity and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said in a news release. “Given all they have overcome, I am so proud of these students for becoming the third graduating class in Georgia history to beat the national average on the SAT. I continue to be optimistic about the future of Georgia public schools as our students, teachers, and schools continue to surpass expectations and outperform their peers nationally.”

According to the release, 64% of public-school graduates in the class of 2020 took the SAT during high school, a slight drop from the 67% of class of 2019 students who took it.

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