RIVERSIDE, Calif. -

Riverside County high school sophomores topped their classmates from the previous year on the math portion of the California High School Exit Exam, but slipped slightly on the English section, according to test results released today.

According to 2012-13 CAHSEE results released by the California Department of Education, 84 percent of 10th graders passed the math portion of the test, up from 83 percent from the previous year. But 82 percent passed the English portion, down from last year's 83 percent.

Statewide, 84 percent of 10th graders passed the math portion, while 83 percent passed English -- the same as the previous year's 10th graders.

According to the CDE, 95.5 percent of students in the class of 2013 across the state passed the overall exam, a slight uptick from the previous year. This year's pass rate was the highest it has been since the test was made a graduation requirement.

``Despite the very real challenges of deep budget cuts and the ongoing effort to shift to new, more demanding academic standards, our schools persevered and students made progress,'' according to Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public instruction. ``These results should give us confidence as we start the new school year, and our efforts to make college- and career-readiness a goal for every student move into high gear.''

All students in California must take the exit exam during their sophomore year. They have two more opportunities to pass it in the 11th grade and up to five chances as seniors.

The class of 2006 was the first graduating class in California that was required to meet the exit exam requirement.