COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina's graduating seniors slightly improved their scores on the ACT college entrance exam for the fourth consecutive year.
Results released Wednesday show the Class of 2013's average composite score was 20.4 on a 36-point scale. That's up from 19.8 in 2009.
The state average on the exam's four subjects remains below the national averages. But the gap has closed to half of a point.
Twenty-two percent of test-takers met college-ready benchmarks in all four subjects: English, reading, math and science. That's up from 19 percent last year but below the 26 percent nationally considered ready.
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. Just over half of 2013 graduates took the ACT.