Maine’s 2010 high school graduates posted virtually the same scores on the SAT college admissions exam as their 2009 counterparts, according to national test results released Monday.

The average scores of Maine’s class of 2010 on the three-part college entrance exam remained unchanged in two categories and dropped by a point in one, the national results released by the College Board show.

Maine’s average scores for 2010 in the “Critical Reading” and “Mathematics” sections were no different than they were in 2009: 468 and 467, respectively, on an 800-point scale. Scores on the “Writing” section dipped by a point, to 454 on an 800-point scale.

Maine was below the national average in all categories, but the College Board warns that states’ scores depend heavily on the type of students taking the test.

Nationwide, about 1.6 million of the country’s largely college-bound 2010 graduates chose to take the test. In Maine, all high school students are required to take the SAT in their junior year as the state’s standardized exam under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Maine Department of Education spokesman David Connerty-Marin said Maine students’ SAT scores point to the value of rigorous classes and a “core curriculum” in which students take four years of English and at least three of math, science and social studies.

Connerty-Marin noted that students taking higher-level courses outscored their classmates.

“We need to continue the work of ensuring all students have access to higher-level courses, and that we really continue to push for a strong curriculum tied to the standards,” he said.