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How Forsyth County’s students scored on SAT compared to state, nation during pandemic
Ben Mullins, Unsplash

Forsyth County’s public-school students once again surpassed state and national averages for 2021 SAT scores, according to data released last week by the Georgia Department of Education.

SAT test scores in the county continued to rise despite a drop in overall participation and struggles students faced during the COVID-19 pandemic last school year. Local students in the Class of 2021 had a mean score of 1,193 — a total of 116 points above the state average (1,077) and 155 points above the national average (1,038).

Forsyth County Schools’ mean test scores were the second-highest among other districts in Georgia, just behind Decatur City Schools (1,227).

The county’s mean score rose by 32 points from 2020, and students at each of Forsyth’s individual high schools continued to reach above state and national averages.

Out of the 2,140 students who took the SAT in the Class of 2021, Lambert High School has the highest mean score in the county at 1,251. Lambert was followed by South Forsyth (1,241); Alliance (1,226); Denmark (1,205); Forsyth Central (1,152); West Forsyth (1,147); and then North Forsyth High Schools (1,095).

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Most of the county’s high schools also saw an increase in mean scores from the previous year, with Forsyth Central (+47), South Forsyth (+39) and Denmark (+30) seeing the highest jumps in scores.

This is the first year Alliance Academy scores have been included, the Class of 2021 being the first to graduate from the school after it opened in 2018.

Although scores continued to increase, participation in the SAT dropped in Forsyth County this past school year — from 2,536 test-takers in 2020 to 2,140 in 2021 — and a similar drop in participation has been seen across the state and nation.

According to the Georgia Department of Education, about 38% of Georgia’s Class of 2021 took the SAT at some point during high school, which “is lower than normal, given the impacts of the pandemic — including the cancellation of some test registrations and closure of some test centers in 2020 — and the temporary waiver of SAT/ACT score requirements for the University System of Georgia Admissions.”

The College Board, an organization that designs and administers the SAT in the U.S., warned in its annual report this year that caution should be used when using scores to compare or evaluate teachers, schools districts or states “because of differences in participation and test taker populations” during the pandemic.

For more information, visit the Georgia Department of Education’s website.