More than 1.66 million students took the SAT in 2012, the largest group to have taken the test, and according to the College Board, the most diverse as 45 percent of test takers were minority students. This year’s scores averages are virtually unchanged from previous years.

Average SAT scores for the class of 2012 in critical reading and writing each decreased by one point; the average scores for math, however, remained steady. The average scores on the three sections were 496 in critical reading, 514 in mathematics, and 488 in writing. The average scores on all three sections for the class of 2011 were 497 in critical reading, 514 in mathematics, and 489 in writing. The range for possible test scores is between 200 and 800.

On average, girls performed better than boys in the writing section, scoring an average of 494 while the boys averaged 481. On average, boys scored higher on critical reading and mathematics with scores of 498 and 532 respectively while girls averaged 493 in critical reading and 499 in mathematics.

The SAT scores indicate that only 43 percent of the graduating students are academically prepared for college success. This score is based on the percentage of students who met the SAT College & Career Readiness Benchmark of a score of 1550. This benchmark statistic is correlated with higher enrollment rates in four-year colleges, higher first-year college GPAs, and higher rates of retention beyond the first year.