Arkansas graduating high school seniors have been performing about the same on the ACT, a standardized test used by many colleges to help determine which students they will admit. Of the 21,166 Arkansas graduating seniors in 2003 who took the test that year or previously, the average score was 20.3, slightly below the national average of 20.8. The numbers were released Tuesday by the nonprofit testing organization. A perfect score on the national test is 36. The ACT tests students in English, mathematics, reading, and science. It is generally taken by college-bound seniors, and state colleges and universities in Arkansas require applicants to take the test. In Arkansas, state Education Department Director Ray Simon said the test results for the 2003 graduates were "a positive sign." The scores showed a modest increase. He noted that students showed slight gains in the four subject areas.