By SEANNA ADCOX
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's graduating seniors posted lower scores on the SAT college entrance exam for the fourth consecutive year.
But more students than ever are taking college-level Advanced Placement courses. Participation in after-course tests for those classes increased by more than double the national rate.
The data was released Monday by the tests' administrator.
The average composite score for the Class of 2012 on the SAT's math, critical reading and writing portions was 1,431. That's five points below last year and 23 points below 2007-08. The national average dropped two points to 1,498.
Meanwhile, nearly 22,000 AP tests received scores high enough to earn college credit. That's up by more than 10% from 2011. The number of tests taken increased by 14%.
Many students take more than one test.