Raleigh, N.C. — Average SAT scores for high school seniors in North Carolina took a slight dip from 2011 to 2012, according to numbers released Monday by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
Test scores fell from an average 1,001 for the class of 2011 to 997 for the class of 2012. A perfect score is 1,600.
A spokeswoman for the department said 68 percent of North Carolina's high school seniors took the college admissions test, the largest participation rate in North Carolina's history.
The national average score remained nearly the same, falling to 1,010 from 1,011 in 2011, according to The College Board's annual SAT report released Monday.
For North Carolina students, the average score in the math section of the test was 506, while the average critical reading score was 491. The average writing score for the class of 2012 was 472. The average total scores include only the math and critical reading sections.
Compared with the scores from the class of 2002, math scores have risen in North Carolina by one point, while critical reading scores have fallen by two points. Nationally, critical reading scores have fallen 8 points, and math scores have fallen by 2 points.
For the first time, The College Board set a benchmark score of 1550 to represent a 65 percent likelihood that students will achieve at least a B average during their first year of college. In North Carolina, 38 percent of students achieved this benchmark.
Additionally, there was a 7.8 percent increase in the number of North Carolina students taking Advanced Placement exams, as well as a 7.2 percent increase in the number of scores in the range of 3 to 5. Scores in that range are considered high enough to qualify for college credit or placement at most North Carolina colleges.