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NC SAT Scores Decline Again As More Take Exam

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(Photo credit FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/GettyImages)

(Photo credit FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/GettyImages)

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s average combined score on the SAT college-entrance exam fell again with the Class of 2012, while participation in both the test and college-level Advanced Placement courses increased, according to figures released Monday by the state Department of Public Instruction.

DPI officials said that average scores on each of the SAT’s three sections fell by two points compared to 2011. Critical reading scores dropped to 491, math scores fell to 506 and writing dropped to 472 for a combined score of 1469. The maximum score on each section is 800.

Sixty-five percent of public high school students, or 55,720, took the SAT, the highest participation rate in North Carolina history, state officials said.

The number of students taking Advanced Placement exams increased 7.8 percent and the number of scores high enough to get college credit increased 7.2 percent.

“The strong SAT and Advanced Placement participation rates in North Carolina are encouraging because they demonstrate that students are planning to further their college education,” Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson said. “I am especially pleased to see AP participation rates and performance improving.”

Last year, North Carolina’s average score on the writing, math and critical reading portions of the SAT was 1475, a 10-point drop from the combined score reported in 2010. The 10-year trend shows critical reading scores are two points lower than in 2002 and math scores are one point higher.

Nationally, average scores on the test’s critical reading section fell one point to 496 and scores in the writing section fell one point to 488. Math scores remained steady at 514.

A total of 53,836 North Carolina students took AP exams, and most students took more than one AP course and exam.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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