By David Fleet
It’s early September and Goodrich High School Senior Emma Butcher is yet to decide on a college in her future.
However, Butcher’s recent SAT score of 1,510 of 1,600 possible may change that direction.
“I really was not expecting to score that high,” said Butcher, 16. “But right away it opened up some new opportunities for scholarships and colleges. I already have received invitations to apply from Harvard and Stanford. Still, not sure where I’m going yet.”
Butcher along with more than 1.8 million high school students nationwide completed the SAT or the Scholastic Assessment Test which serves as a college entrance exam as well as a state English language arts and math assessment. The SAT tests skills learned in high school that students are likely to need in college and beyond. In 2015 the SAT was revamped to also include a written essay among other changes.
Butcher’s senior classmates at Goodrich High School along with other Michigan juniors where given the three hour SAT test last April and the scores were released statewide last week.
According to the Michigan Department of Education Goodrich topped all traditional public high schools in Genesee County with a mean SAT score of 1,062.4 for the 180 students who completed the exam. The SAT score improved from 1,054.6 in 2017. The English scores remained the same while math scores improved compared to 2017. Only Carman-Anisworth Middle College with 29 students scored higher than Goodrich High School on the SAT.
The average SAT score statewide dropped to 1,000.1, from 1,007.6, according the Michigan Department of Education. The total scores on the SAT range from a low of 400 to a high of 1,600. Scores on the math and English tests range from 200 to 800.
Mike Baszler is the Goodrich High School principal.
“We are extremely proud that the hard work our students put into their course work and specifically this assessment have paid off,” said Baszler. “Our entire K-12 school community has helped in this preparation and should be honored that we are recognized this year as number one in the county on this assessment. As great as this sounds on paper for our kids, as their principal I can tell you I am as equally proud of the wonderful young men and women they are and the service they provide to the Goodrich community.”
Mike Cook has been the senior associate director of admissions at Michigan State University since 2003.
He says while standardized test scores are important several other factors are key for admission. About 9,000 students will be admitted to MSU out of about 36,000 applications received from freshman for the 2018-19 school year. The school requires an SAT combined score of 1,130-1,300 from consideration..
“When we made a decision for any student we try to determine the ability to be successful at MSU,” said Cook. “We seek those (students) who are well prepared to graduate (MSU) in four years. We look at academics, specifically how well you do in high school including the type of classes, grade point average and the test scores. The test scores are secondary and not as important as performance and the quality and type of course students take in high school. The test scores are important, but they don’t always indicate success.”
Cook said there’s a lot more rich data in a high school transcript than test scores.
“Generally if you take AP (advanced placement) classes your SAT score will be higher,” he said. “But a 3.4 gpa with quality AP classes is better than a 4.0 and less challenging classes.”
Butcher who has AP calculus and government this fall at Goodrich said a few practice tests helped just a little on the SAT.
“The practice helped on the essay portion of the SAT,” she said. “But you really can only study for the types of questions. Honestly, some question on the SAT I had no idea of how to answer.”