Mississippi’s ACT scores were flat last year, although a few more Magnolia State students are ready for college by the standards of the test.

The state’s 2015 high school graduates made an average composite score of 19 on the test, the same as in 2014. That’s still below the national average, which stayed steady at 21 this year.

“While the state saw an increase in 2014 in the average composite score for graduating seniors in public and private schools, this year’s ACT score remained flat at 19,” state Superintendent Carey Wright said in a statement. “This report shows that Mississippi must continue to challenge students with higher standards and rigorous coursework that will better prepare them for college.”

Average ACT scores for Mississippi students had been stuck between 18.5 and 18.9 for at least 20 years before 2014.

Mississippi paid $1.3 million for all high school juniors to take the test last year, but Mississippi Department of Education officials say those results won’t register until current seniors graduate.

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