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Rockdale SAT scores follow state, national dip
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After increasing for two years, Rockdale SAT scores followed the state-wide and national trends in high schools' SAT scores with a significant dip for last year's graduating class.

The state fell seven points to 1445 while the nation dropped by one point to 1497. RCPS decreased to 1331, down 47 points from last year's score of 1378. The previous year, it had increased 22 points.

"I am disappointed that our 2014 scores do not continue the growth trajectory that we experienced for the past two years," said Superintendent Richard Autry.

"We are currently evaluating our advisement process to ensure that students are taking the SAT when they are most prepared and most apt to do well. Unfortunately, our initial analysis reveals that many students had not completed the necessary core academic courses or exposed themselves to the rigor of advance placement courses critical to posting a high score on this type of assessment. Students sign up independently to take the SAT. RCPS does not deny any student the opportunity to take this assessment. We strongly want to support our students' aspirations to go to college.

"We will continue to provide free SAT prep and improved advisement to parents and students so that they may achieve this goal. We have a guide for parents and students called Map Your Future which outlines the best approach and timeline for preparing to take college entrance exams beginning at the middle school level. SAT scores cannot be significantly increased through short-term preparation programs or memorization strategies. Students must be exposed to higher level concepts, complex reading material, and sophisticated problem solving activities at an early age. As a school district, we will continue to provide increased opportunities for advanced and enriched learning that exceeds that of the basic curriculum."

RCPS recommends the following guidelines for students to be successful with college entrance exams:

Know which entrance exam is required by the college for which you are applying (ACT, SAT, PLAN).

Take the exam as late as possible. Ideally, students should take entrance exams at the beginning of their senior year after successful completion of core content courses.

Students should complete at least one Advanced Placement (AP) course prior to testing.

Students should complete the official College Board SAT prep program offered free of charge at each high school.

Students should attend the free one-week summer SAT prep workshop.

Follow the RCPS Map Your Future which is a basic guide for preparation beginning in middle school. All middle and high schools have copies of the guide.

Increase exposure to complex reading material at home through material such as the Wall Street Journal or Wall Street Journal for kids.