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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Graduating seniors' scores on the ACT remained the same as more South Carolina students than ever took the college entrance exam.

Data released Wednesday shows the Class of 2014's average composite score was 20.4 on a 36-point scale. That's unchanged from last year. The national average increased by one-tenth of a point, to 21.

The data includes scores posted by private and home-schooled students. Nearly 2,400 additional seniors took the test compared to 2013.

State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais points to the slight increase in scores for public school students as evidence of progress. Those increased by one-tenth of a point to 20.2.

Twenty-three percent of South Carolina's test-takers met college-ready benchmarks in all four subjects: English, reading, math and science. That's up from 22 percent last year.

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