For a second straight year, SAT scores for the most recent high school graduating class remained at their lowest levels in nearly a decade--a trend some attribute to a higher volume and a less elite population of students now taking the exam.

The 1.52 million students who took the test represent a slight increase from last year but a jump of nearly 30 percent over the past decade. Minority students accounted for 40 percent of test-takers, and 36 percent were the first in their families to attend college. Nearly one in seven had a low enough family income to take the test for free.


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