Washington's 2012 high-school graduates who took the ACT college-entrance exam performed slightly better than in previous years.

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Average scores on the ACT exam were up slightly for the Washington state high-school class of 2012. The percentage of high-school students taking the exam also has increased.

The scores released Wednesday show scores held steady across the nation this past year, although the results show more students are ready for college-level work in math and science.

Twenty-one percent of the Washington class of 2012 took the ACT exam. The SAT is the more popular college-entrance exam in this state, with more than half of the eligible Washington students taking the SAT.

The average ACT composite test score for Washington’s class of 2012 was 22.9 (on a scale of 1 to 36). That’s above the national average of 21.1.

But across the country, a larger percentage of eligible students take the exam, so average scores are likely to be lower.