Scores by Staples High School students on the 2013 Scholastic Aptitude Tests are mixed.

While local students scored higher in math and writing on the standardized tests, compared with 2012 results, there was a slight decline in the overall reading score.

All of the local students' average test scores, however, exceeded both the state and national results by substantial numbers.

On average, Staples students scored 604 in math and 599 in writing in 2013, compared with 599 in math and 597 in writing on the 2012 SATs.

Those scores rebounded in 2012 from a slight decline a year earlier, according to figures released Monday.

Reading scores, however, declined from an average of 589 in 2012 to 585 this year.

This year, 376 Staples students took the test.

The state SAT scores reflected a slight improvement over the previous year, but nationwide scores on the test seemed stuck in neutral.

Officials from the College Board, which produces the test, said the stagnant national numbers mean too many high school graduates are unprepared for college.

"We at the College Board consider it a call to action," College Board President David Coleman said.

Critics of the SATs, and standardized tests in general, however, said the failure lies with the system, not the students.

In Connecticut, the average SAT verbal score for the Class of 2013 was 508 and in writing, 512. In both cases, the scores were 2 points higher than the year before, but far higher than the national average for verbal, 496, and writing, 488.

The average math score, meanwhile stood at 512, the same as last year and 2 points lower than the national math score average of 514.

Staff writer Linda Conner Lambeck contributed to this report.