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Composite scores — the average of students’ performance on the four ACT subjects, measured on a scale of 1 to 36 — differ greatly among ethnic groups. White students had an average score of 22.4, compared with 17 for black students and 18.7 for Hispanics.

Scores also vary greatly by state. Massachusetts students had the highest average at 24.2, followed by New Hampshire at 23.7 and New York, Maine and Rhode Island all at 23 or better. Mississippi came in last with an average composite score of 18.7, according to the report.

The District of Columbia came in at 20, while Virginia and Maryland students averaged 22.3 and 22.1, respectively.