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BOSTON — Massachusetts ranks fourth in the nation in the percentage of 2013 public high school graduates who scored 3 or higher on Advanced Placement exams.

Advanced Placement exams are scored on a 5-point scale with 3 indicating a student is considered qualified of doing the work of an introductory-level course in a particular subject at college.

According to a new report by the College Board, which administers the test, nearly 28 percent of Massachusetts 2013 high school graduates scored 3 or higher — up from nearly 17 percent in 2003.

That places Massachusetts behind Maryland, which ranked first, followed by Connecticut and Virginia.

Nationally, about 20 percent of 2013 public high school graduates scored a 3 or higher on an Advanced Placement Exam.

Some colleges and universities grant credit for scores of 3, 4 or 5.