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ACT scores dip, but more students college-ready

There's mixed news on the latest ACT college entrance exams.

A report out today says average ACT scores inched downward this year, but more students who took the test proved ready for college.

While the findings appear contradictory, the exam's authors point to a growing and more diverse group of test-takers.

Last spring's high-school seniors averaged a composite score of 21.0 on the test's scale of 1 to 36. That's down slightly from 21.1 last year and the lowest score of the last five years.

At the same time, 24 percent of ACT-tested students met or surpassed all four of the test's benchmarks measuring their preparedness for college English, reading, math and science. That is up from 23 percent last year and 21 percent in 2006.

That shows three in four test-takers will likely need remedial help in at least one subject to succeed in college, but ACT officials call it progess, albeit slow, as students take the exam in larger numbers.

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