Jumpstart Test Prep Implements First-Ever, State-Sponsored Math Review Pilot Program

Jumpstart Test Prep recently announced the results from 15 Mississippi High Schools that completed the first-ever, state-sponsored math review for nearly 1,700 juniors who prepared for the state-administered February 2019 ACT® exam (American College Testing). Following completion of the Jumpstart Test Prep review, more than 47 percent of the students with prior ACT attempts had an average math score improvement of +2.24 points.

Jake Hoskins, Ph.D., of Westminster College in Salt Lake City, was tapped by Jumpstart Test Prep to analyze the pre- and post-ACT exam scores provided by each school. “My analysis revealed that the (Jumpstart) Math Test Prep showed discernable and consistent improvement at the individual school and global analysis levels. The results are not only positive in direction but also statistically significant outside of the school field tests in which the number of students was low, thereby limiting sample size. Improvements were consistently seen across student demographics (race, gender, academic strength) and school rating. When optimally implemented, the review program has shown the ability to drive several point score improvements to school averages and drastically improve ACT exam results,” Hoskins concluded.

As Dr. Hoskins noted, school scheduling and implementation methods were shown to impact the results. When implemented in the classroom and closer to the test date, the percentage of students with prior scores showing improvement in math were as high as 68 percent (Long Beach High School with a 3.0 average point improvement for the 67.6 percent showing improvement; Ruleville High School with a 1.7 average point improvement for the 68.4 percent showing improvement).

Prior to implementation of the program, 12 of the 15 schools selected for the pilot performed lower than the state average in ACT math in 2018. Working in conjunction with the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) through the Office of Secondary Education, the goal of the pilot program was to help these selected high schools improve ACT composite math sub-score averages. The pilot program was made possible through a $100,000 allocation from the Mississippi Legislature for the 2018-19 school year.

“We saw a tremendous improvement in a large group of our kids - over 45 percent of our kids improved in the math section of the ACT and a large group of our first-time test-takers scored a 20 or above on the math section,” said Rhonda Guice, principal at Lake Cormorant High School. “Our students were really impressed with the program and a lot of them stopped by to tell me how much they got out of the review. I believe it’s a great program.”

Also, North Pike High School Principal Scott Hallmark shared his insights.

“My students did very well with the program, and I feel that the review was a good supplement for what we are doing in the classroom,” said Scott Hallmark, principal at North Pike High School. “We met with the teachers to ensure the proper implementation of the program and it was used immediately before our juniors tested on the ACT in February. It was embedded within our class day; short modules that could be done in the class. It’s a good program and I am very pleased with its results, and I would like to continue using it.”

Deanna Edwards, a junior student at Bouge Chitto High School was one of hundreds of students that realized improvements in ACT math by improving five points (18 to 23). “The (Jumpstart) review helped. As we are going up in our levels of high school, we are thinking about all the new stuff we are learning, and we don’t really get a lot of review of what we learned way back when, so I think it helped a lot.”

The pilot school pre-rankings and results of percentages of students who improved and the average improvement for these groups are provided in the table below:

School / 2018 Jr. Class Math ACT Rank of 238 MS High Schools

Long Beach / 21
North Pike / 96
Ruleville / 215
Hazlehurst / 224
Ray Brooks / 196
Salem / 147
Coldwater / 222
Bay Springs / 170
Bouge Chitto / 90
Lake Cormorant / 111
Wingfield / 228
Laurel / 213
West Point / 166
Franklin Co. / 103
Blue Mountain / 131

% of students Improved in ACT Math following Jumpstart review (+Ave Pts)

68% (+3.00 Pts)
58% (+2.82 Pts)
68% (+1.69 Pts)
60% (+1.69 Pts)
45% (+2.00 Pts)
53% (+1.75 Pts)
47% (+2.75 Pts)
47% (+2.29 Pts)
37% (+2.55 Pts)
43% (+2.31 Pts)
43% (+2.31 Pts)
47% (+1.57 Pts)
43% (+1.58 Pts)
34% (+1.86 Pts)
33% (+2.00 Pts)

“Mississippi ranked 49th in average composite score in 2018. Only 21 percent of the 2018 graduating class met the math benchmark of college and career readiness. I estimate a one-point ACT composite improvement would move Mississippi to around 40th while a two-point improvement would have us performing better than half the nation,” said Sha Walker, co-founder and CEO of Jumpstart Test Prep. “In order to be fully prepared, students need a complete review of the content they will see on the ACT®, along with all the tips, test-taking strategies and realistic question practice that we provide. The pilot schools did a good job with our math review implementation and this has proven to be a wise investment by our state.”

Jumpstart Test Prep’s unique preparation approach helps students of all ability levels stay fully engaged and gain the most improvement in the shortest time by explaining difficult content in a way that every student can follow and understand. The program is based on over 56 years of teaching and tutoring work by legendary educator Dot McClendon.

“I am thrilled by the success of these Mississippi High School students,” said McClendon. “Helping to open the door to higher learning and opportunity for students feels very rewarding because we know they were coached the right way.”

Walker and McClendon cite the top three competitive distinctions of Jumpstart Test Prep:

1. Proven exam prep expertise honed over a lifetime of successful results. The content review is delivered on demand. It is highly visual, highly animated and students respond to the ACT®-style practice questions.

2. Engaging, not boring. Presented by a group of fun, young, diverse people and presented in short 30-minute segments. Students must actively engage as they follow along in their workbook to complete the blanks and work ACT®-style practice problems as the online review progresses.

3. Improved time management. Jumpstart Test Prep reviews content step by step, then shows how to apply that content with follow-up examples. We follow with challenge questions, allowing a clock-timer countdown. Time is critical on the ACT® and by the end of our review, Jumpstart Test Prep students know the average amount of time they can allocate per question and what to do when too much time has lapsed. ​

All juniors in each pilot school site had access to the following resources as a result of the funding allocation awarded by the Mississippi Legislature:

  • Expert content review and practice, along with test-taking tips and strategies delivered in the classroom via streaming video
  • Online, on-demand, 13-hour review (20 modules, approximately 35 minutes each) of math content tested by the ACT® that could be led from the classroom or used individually by students through May 2019
  • Consumable student workbooks (337 pages) to be completed as lecture content is watched and later used as a student study guide
  • On-demand support

School administrators utilized an online dashboard reflecting the video module completion progress of teachers assigned to proctor the review and/or individual student progress.

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