The average SAT score for the Class of 2014 in Prince George’s County was 1197, down 10 points from the year before, according to figures released by county school system officials.
This year’s students in Prince George’s County also fared worse on the SAT test than students nationally, who scored an average of 1497 on the college admission test that has a perfect score of 2400 for critical reading, math and writing.
The county’s scores continue to slide, dropping 77 points in the last two years.
Deputy Schools Superintendent Shawn Joseph said school system officials are trying to determine what factors are causing the decline.
“We’re still investigating the reasons why students performed the way they did this year,” Joseph said. “Our goal is to make sure our students do well on this or any other exam.”
Prince George’s students scored an average of 409 on the test’s critical reading portion, 393 on math and 395 on writing.
In Maryland, the average overall score fell to 1468, a drop of 15 points. Despite the slide, state officials said they were pleased by greater participation in the exam.
The scores for nearly all racial groups in Prince George’s went down this year with white students and Hispanic students seeing the greatest drop — 37 points and 22 points, respectively. American Indians, who were less than 1 percent of all test takers, were the only group that showed gains. They scored an average of 1076, which was 31 points higher than the year before.
Joseph said the school district is “thinking systemically” about the exams.
“We’ll continue to take a systemwide approach to make sure our students demonstrate strong performance over time,” he said.
The county has pushed for more students to take the test each year. A couple of years ago, the school district launched “SAT School Days,” which allowed students to take the tests free of charge during school. The test is normally administered on Saturdays.
Last year, 7,068 sat for the exam — the highest number the county has seen for a number of years.
But this year, the county had 271 fewer students taking the test than last year. According to the figures, 6,797 students took the college admission test this year, a drop of four percentage points from a year ago.
Joseph said the number was smaller because there were fewer students in the overall class than in previous years.