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Georgia’s graduating class of 2021 sees significant increase in scores, is fourth in state history to beat national average on SAT

MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan Frick, GaDOE Communications Office,

Notes on data included:

  1. These data reflect the performance of Georgia public-school students in the class of 2021. Some media outlets may report on data that reflect the performance of the “all students" group, which includes private/independent schools. See attached for the College Board's report on Georgia public-school students.
  2. Updated 9/17: Click here for school-level scores and here for district-level scores.

September 15, 2021 – For the fourth year in a row, Georgia public-school students outperformed their counterparts in the nation's public schools on the SAT, recording a mean score of 1077 — 39 points higher than the national average for public-school students. 

Georgia's public-school class of 2021 also recorded significant increases in scores compared to the class of 2020. The mean score for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (ERW) rose from 532 in 2020 to 546 in 2021, and the mean for math rose from 511 in 2020 to 531 in 2021, for a total increase of 34 points in the average composite score. 

“Despite the fact that part of their high-school education took place against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia's class of 2021 did an outstanding job on the SAT — both increasing scores and outperforming their counterparts in the nation's public schools," State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “I am extremely proud of these students and these scores are a testament to their hard work, and the hard work of educators in Georgia's public schools who continue to offer stellar educational opportunities despite the challenges of the last year and a half." 

Thirty-eight percent of Georgia's class of 2021 took the SAT at some point during high school. This percentage 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 University System of Georgia Admissions. 

While the College Board does not release participation percentages at the national level, the raw numbers show a decline in participation at the national level as well: 1.5 million students in the high school class of 2021 took the SAT at least once, down from 2.2 million in the class of 2020.