Students in Iowa - including all schools in Winneshiek County - scored higher than the national average on the 2011 ACT.

The national average composite score was 21.1 out of a possible 36.

Iowa scored 22.3, second best in the nation. Minnesota students had the highest average of 22.9.

Decorah had a composite score of 24, while South Winn finished at 22.1 and Turkey Valley had a 21.8.

Iowa's score is slightly higher than last year's average of 22.2. In 2009, Iowa scored a 22.4.

More than half of Iowa's class of 2011 - 61 percent - took the ACT.

The ACT exam measures college readiness. Areas tested are English, math, science and reading. Not all colleges require an ACT score for admittance.

School counselors caution comparing schools based only on the ACT scores, since some factors can influence the averages. Some districts require all students to take the exam, whether taking a course load to prepare for college or not. Other districts allow students not in the graduating class - some as young as eighth grade - to take the ACT.

Local results

Decorah: The 103 students tested at Decorah High School scored an average of 24.0. That's 0.2 above last year's average of 23.8.

Turkey Valley: In 2010, Turkey Valley had an average composite score of 22.3, and in 2011 it was 21.8

South Winneshiek: South Winneshiek had an average composite score of 22.1, with 32 students (less than half the class) taking the exam.

In 2010, the District's average composite score was 23.6. More than half the class took the test.