For the high school class of 2012, the average score on the critical reading section of the SAT college entrance exam, 496, was down 1 point from the previous year, as was the average writing score, 488. The average math score, 514, was unchanged. Also unchanged: only 43 percent of the 1.66 million test-takers achieved the benchmark score, 1550, that indicates readiness for college. Among students whose parents have bachelor's degrees, though, 60 percent were college ready. The College Board, which administers the test, says those with the benchmark score have a 65 percent likelihood of achieving a B- or higher grade average in their first year in college.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.