COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - South Carolina's graduating seniors improved their scores on the ACT college entrance exam, while the national average slipped.
The average score for the Class of 2010 was 20 on a 36-point scale. That's up from 19.8 last year, and half a point increase over five years.
South Carolina is one point below the national average of 21. Last year's gap was 1.3 points. Massachusetts had the highest average score at 24. Mississippi fared the worst at 18.8.
Eighteen percent of South Carolina's test-takers met college readiness benchmarks in the four core subjects. Nearly 20,000 public and private school graduates took the ACT, just over half of the students who graduated.
Both the ACT and SAT are accepted by most colleges. The SAT has historically been more popular in South Carolina, but ACT participation has grown.