PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota students' average score on the ACT college-entrance test remained unchanged this year, but still above the national average.

The state Education Department reports that 81 percent of South Dakota's graduating high school seniors took the ACT.

The average composite score in South Dakota was 21.8, the same as it's been for the past three years. The national average score was 21.1, also unchanged from last year.

State Education Secretary Molody Schopp says that while South Dakota's scores are consistently higher than the national average, there is always room for improvement. She says implementation of the Common Core State Standards should boost learning by challenging student to engage in higher-level thinking skills.

The ACT is scored on a scale of 1 to 36, with 36 the highest possible score.