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      State ACT scores rise; still below national average

      South Carolina is one point below the national average of 21.1.

      / FILE

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina's graduating seniors improved their scores on the ACT college entrance exam for the third consecutive year, but remains below the national average.

      Results released Wednesday show the average score for public, private and home school students was 20.1 on a 36-point scale. That's up from 20 last year and 19.8 in 2009.

      South Carolina is one point below the national average of 21.1.

      Both the ACT and SAT are accepted by most colleges. The SAT has historically been the more popular in South Carolina, but ACT participation continues to grow.

      More than 18,000 public school students took the test this year. Their average score was 19.9. They represented more than 87 percent of all test-takers.

      (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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