When it comes to acing college entrance exams, South Dakota high school students are at the head of the class.

According to the latest figures released by the U.S. Department of Education, students in the Mount Rushmore State scored 21.6 on the ACT test, tying students in Iowa for the highest average in America.

That score is nearly a point higher than the national average (20.7).

As for South Dakota's results on the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress, reading scores at the fourth-grade level and math scores at the eighth-grade level are slightly up from 2017, but all other scores in fourth-grade math, eighth-grade reading, and 12th-grade math and reading are down.

Despite those dips, all South Dakota test scores at all three grade levels exceed the national averages.

Overall, there was slight improvement nationally in fourth-grade math, the reading scores at that level went down. Eighth-grade test scores were also down, especially in reading where 31 states reported lower scores compared to their 2017 results.

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