Data released Wednesday morning shows Illinois' composite score on the college-entrance exam was 20.3. That's a half a point lower than the national average of 20.9.
But the score has risen two-tenths of a point since 2002. That's the first year every high school junior in Illinois was required to take the test. A perfect ACT score is 36.
Nearly 133,000 students took the ACT last spring. Colorado is the only other state that requires all students to take the test.
Those taking courses that prepare them for college scored 22.4 overall. The composite score was 18.6 for those not taking such "core" courses.