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SAT Scores Unchanged as Most Ever Take College Admissions Test

Average SAT scores for high school seniors increased one point in math and declined one point in writing from last year as record numbers of students took the test used for admission at most U.S. colleges.

Reading results and the total test scores were unchanged as the averages were 516 for math, 501 for reading, 492 for writing, and 1,509 overall for students who graduated from high school this year, the College Board, the New York-based nonprofit organization which administers the exam, said today in a statement. Tests scores were higher for students whose schools offered a core curriculum in English, math, natural and social science and history.

“Students who take more rigorous courses in high school are more prepared to succeed in college and beyond,” Gaston Caperton, president of the College Board, said in the statement.

Almost 1.6 million students took the test, the most in its 84-year history, according to the statement.

Taking the SAT, once called the Scholastic Aptitude Test, or another standardized examination is a requirement for applicants at almost 1,000 four-year colleges and universities in the U.S., said Kathleen Steinberg, a spokeswoman for the College Board. The ACT, which is administered by Iowa City, Iowa-based ACT Inc. is also widely accepted.

The average SAT total for boys this year was 1,523, compared with 1,496 for girls. A perfect score is 800 for each section.

Average SAT math scores have increased 15 points since 1990, while average reading scores have climbed 1 point. The writing test was first offered in 2005.

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