Paulding County students saw a slight decrease in their overall score on a key college entrance exam in 2019 but bucked state and national trends by increasing their score on its math part.

Paulding students’ decrease on the overall Composite score on the SAT reflected slight decreases seen in the same score statewide and nationally among public schools in 2019.

The SAT is a standardized test many U.S. colleges and universities use to determine an incoming student’s readiness for their course work.

It consists of two parts, Math and Evidence-based Reading and Writing. The scores on each are added together to give a Composite score.

Students in Paulding’s five public high schools recorded a total mean — average — Composite score of 1039 in 2019. That was a 1-point decrease from 1040 in 2018 but an increase from 1030 in 2017.

The county’s students in 2019 increased their average score on the Math part of the exam with a score of 510, up from 507 and 502 in the previous two years.

But they saw decreases on the Evidence-based Reading and Writing part.

Paulding students scored an average of 529 on ERW, which was down from 533 in 2018 but an increase from 527 in 2017.

County school district students’ Composite mean score in 2019 was below the state average of 1049 but matched the national average of 1039.

Paulding’s 529 score on the exam’s ERW part exceeded the national average of 524 but was below the state average of 533.

Their 510 mean score on the SAT’s math section was below both the state and national averages of 515 each.

However, Paulding also had more test-takers in 2019 compared to the two previous years. A total of 1,245 took the test in 2019 compared to 1,204 in 2018 and 1,129 in 2017.

Among Paulding’s five high schools, North Paulding had the highest Composite, Math and ERW scores.

Its students scored a Composite score of 1069, including ERW 544 and Math 525 — both of which exceeded both state and national averages.

Other county high schools’ scores included:

♦ East Paulding, 1031 Composite, 525 ERW, 507 Math.

♦ Hiram, 1013 Composite, 517 ERW, 496 Math.

♦ Paulding County High, 1032 Composite, 530 ERW, 502 Math.

♦ South Paulding, 1025 Composite, 519 ERW, 506 Math.

Statewide, for the second year in a row, Georgia public-school students outperformed their counterparts in the nation’s public schools on the SAT.

Public school students statewide recorded a mean score of 1048, nine points higher than the mean for U.S. public schools, a news release stated.

Georgia outperformed the nation’s public schools by nine points in ERW and performed on par with their national counterparts in math, stated the release from the Georgia Department of Education.

Georgia’s SAT participation rose to 67% of public-school graduates in the class of 2019, up from 66% in 2018 and 59% in 2017.

“I’ll put it simply: I’m proud of the teachers and students in Georgia’s public schools,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “While we would of course like to see an increase in scores every year, I’m still pleased to see us well above the national average even as participation increases.

“I’m feeling optimistic about the future of public education in Georgia, and grateful for our educators and students who make it possible,” Woods said.

Georgia’s 2019 scores also brought positive news in the area of equity, the release stated.

Black students in Georgia’s public-school class of 2019 recorded a mean composite score of 952, well above the national mean of 921, even as their participation increased by 1.7%.

Georgia’s Hispanic or Latino students recorded a mean composite score of 1016, well above the national mean of 967, even with a 16.3% increase in participation.

Two years ago, the 2017 SAT results set a new baseline for year-to-year comparisons. Reports prior to 2017 were based on the old SAT, which had a different score scale and different benchmarks. The 2017, 2018, and 2019 SAT scores are comparable. Comparisons to 2016 or earlier are not valid, the release stated.

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