More Latinos and African-Americans are taking college entrance exams than ever before, according to a report recently released by the College Board, a nonprofit educational organization and owner of the SAT. Yet, their SAT scores are dropping further below those of their Asian-American and white classmates.

The growing gap between ethnic groups disturbs some educators, who fear that Latinos and blacks will have an even tougher time competing for entry into the nation's most selective colleges. About 90% of four-year colleges and universities rely on SAT scores to help select their freshman class.

According to the report, high-school students taking advanced placement courses are more likely to do well on the SAT. "The good news is that African-American and Hispanic students today represent 20% of college-bound seniors taking the SAT," says Wayne Camara, Ph.D., a psychologist and the Board's vice president of research and development. "More attention than ever needs to be paid to schools with high-minority enrollments to ensure they have access to rigorous courses and receive quality instruction from well-prepared teachers."

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