COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WVOC) - South Carolina's graduating seniors posted higher scores on the SAT college entrance exam for the first time in five years, but the average state score still is below the national average.

That's according to new data released by the tests' administrator, the College Board.

The state average composite score for the Class of 2013 on the SAT's math, critical reading and writing portions was 1,436.

The national average is 1,498 – unchanged from last year.

Meanwhile, nearly 24,000 Advanced Placement tests received scores high enough to earn college credit, up by almost 9% from last year.

The number of students taking the college-level classes also increased by 9%.