Kansas students' overall performance on this year's ACT college readiness exam topped the national average for the sixth straight year, according to a report released Wednesday.
This year's average composite score was 22 for Kansas students, up slightly from 21.9 the previous year and above the national average of 21.
Kansas also posted the highest average composite score among the 13 states that had at least 75 percent of graduates participating in the exam.
Kansas students performed particularly well in the areas of English and reading, where 74 percent and 60 percent of test-takers respectively met college readiness benchmarks established by ACT.
The average score for Kansas high school graduates in English was 21.4, well above the benchmark of 18. Kansas' average reading score was 22.3, 1.3 percentage points above the college readiness benchmark of 21.
In math, Kansas students fell 0.3 percentage points below the benchmark of 22, and they were 2.1 percentage points below the science benchmark of 24.
The benchmarks represent scores that would indicate a level of preparation needed to have at least a 50 percent chance of getting a B or above in entry-level college coursework.
Fifty-one percent of Kansas graduates met the benchmark in math and 34 percent achieved the science benchmark. In all cases, the percent of Kansas graduates meeting the benchmarks was at or above the percentages meeting the benchmarks last year and exceeded the percent of graduates meeting the benchmarks nationwide.
Interim education commissioner Diane DeBacker said she was impressed with how Kansas students performed on the test compared with students nationwide.
"However, I also recognize that our work to ensure all students are ready for postsecondary opportunities — whether that means college or work — is ongoing," she said in a written statement.
More information about Kansas students' performance on the ACT exam, as well as details about statewide locations for the annual ACT College and Career Readiness Workshops, can be found at www.act.org.