Reading scores on the SAT for the high school class of 2012 have reached a four-decade low.
According to the College Board, the organization that administers the test, scores among every racial group except for those of asian descent declined from 2006 levels. The average reading score for the 2012 graduating class was 496, down 1 point from the previous year and 34 points since 1972.
A majority of test takers, 57 percent, did not score high enough to indicate likely success in college. The president of the College Board calls the national trend line alarming and should serve as a "call to action."
The nearly four-hour SAT covers critical reading, writing and math. Many experts attribute the continued decline to record numbers of students taking the test. Across the country, 1.66 million seniors who graduated in June took the SAT, the highest number since the exam was first administered in 1926.