ST. PAUL, Minn. — Scores on the ACT college entrance exam rose for Minnesota’s Class of 2017 and remain among America’s best.

For the second year in a row, Minnesota’s graduating class led the 17 states where all high school seniors took the test. In results released Thursday, they posted an average composite score of 21.5, compared with 21.1 for 2016.

Sixty-three percent met the college readiness benchmark for English, while 50 percent hit the reading benchmark, 48 percent met the math benchmark and 42 percent hit the science benchmark.

Minnesota beat the national average score of 21.0, which returned to 2014-15 levels after dropping to 20.8 last year.

Minnesota’s average scores are down from previous years because the state started requiring all juniors to take the ACT in 2015, not just the college-bound.

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