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Mass. students top nation on ACT scores

The average Massachusetts student scored an 24.8 out of a possible 36 on the ACT.
The average Massachusetts student scored an 24.8 out of a possible 36 on the ACT.Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press/Associated Press

Massachusetts high school students in the class of 2016 had the country’s highest scores on the ACT exam, state officials announced Wednesday.

The average Massachusetts student scored 24.8 out of a possible 36 on the standardized test, used by many colleges for admissions. Nationally, the average composite score was 20.8.

Students typically choose to take either the SAT exam or the ACT. About 28 percent of the Massachusetts class of the 2016, or 20,300 students, sat for the ACT during high school, according to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The ACT tests students for college and career readiness through four benchmarks of English, reading, mathematics, and science.

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While only 26 percent of students nationally met all four benchmarks, 53 percent of Massachusetts graduates did.

Last year, Massachusetts tied Connecticut for the top spot on the ACT.

“We are proud to see that once again, Massachusetts students had the highest ACT scores in the nation,” Governor Charlie Baker said in a statement. “I congratulate those students, their teachers and their families on their hard work.”


Olivia Quintana can be reached at olivia.quintana@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @oliviasquintana.