ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -

Minnesota retains its top spot among states on the ACT college entrance exam.

High school seniors scored 22.9 out of a possible 36 on the ACT, ranking the state first among states in which at least half of graduates took the exam. It's the ninth straight year that Minnesota students topped the list.

State graduates also finished first in the percentage of students considered college-ready in each of the four subject areas tested — English, math, science and reading. This year, 39 percent of state graduates tested as proficient on the ACT exam.

This academic year, all Minnesota high school juniors will begin taking the ACT under new graduation requirements approved by the Legislature last year.

Wisconsin scored second on the ACT this year with 22.2 out of a possible 36.

The state's high school seniors scored an average composite of 22.2 out of a possible 36, ranking Wisconsin behind Minnesota. Seventy-three percent of Wisconsin seniors took the exam this year. The curriculum-based test measures students' readiness for the first year of college.

The national average composite score is 21. Iowa tied with Ohio and Kansas this year for the number three slot.