Jumpstart Test Prep announced the selection of 22 Mississippi High Schools that will implement a legislatively funded test prep program to juniors preparing for the state-mandated ACT® exam administered during the spring of 2020. The prep classes will begin at all selected Mississippi high schools during the two weeks preceding the scheduled test day. The pilot program is funded through a $150,000 allocation from the Mississippi Legislature and will support 2884 juniors in improving their ACT test scores during the 2019-20 pilot year.
Working in conjunction with the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE), through the Office of Secondary Education, the goal of the 2019-2020 Mississippi legislative pilot is to assist teachers at the selected high schools with improving ACT composite science and reading sub-score averages, as well as gain feedback and improvement results from schools awarded the review course pilot.
In May 2019, Jumpstart Test Prep announced the results from 15 Mississippi High Schools that completed the first, State-sponsored Math review for nearly 1,700 juniors preparing for the state administered February 2019 ACT® exam. Following completion of the Jumpstart Test Prep review, nearly half of the students with prior ACT attempts had an average Math score improvement of +2.24 points.
Jake Hoskins, PhD, of Westminster College in Salt Lake City, was selected by Jumpstart Test Prep to analyze the pre- and post- ACT exam scores provided by each school last year and continues in this capacity for the 2019-20 school year. His analysis revealed that the (Jumpstart) Math Test Prep produced discernable and consistent improvement at the individual school and global analysis levels. Improvements were consistently seen across student demographics (race, gender, academic strength) and school rating. When optimally implemented, the review program proved the ability to drive several point score improvements to school averages and drastically improve ACT exam results.
“To validate the effectiveness of Jumpstart Test Prep’s Reading and Science review programs, a field experiment is designed for implementation during the 2020 statewide administration date (Spring 2020) of the ACT® exam for High School Juniors,” said Hoskins. “This extensive field study that is planned for 2019-20 builds upon a similar set of trials that was conducted for the 2018-19 academic year in the subject areas of Math (spanning 15 schools) and English (spanning 7 schools) that clearly demonstrated effectiveness of the program in both of these subject areas.”
This year, to be considered for participation, all Mississippi public high schools were allowed a two-week application registration period which concluded August 16. Schools representing over 13,000 juniors submitted applications before the deadline and Dr. Hoskins performed a random selection from the field of applicants. “Comparing last years’ state published junior class ACT performance data, the randomly selected group that will administer the Jumpstart Test Prep program this year performed 1.13 Points Below the junior class state average on the ACT reading subtest last year and 1.12 points below the junior class state average on the ACT science subtest. Nearly 75% of this years’ school pilot group performed lower than the 2018 statewide school junior class ACT composite average of 17.8.
“A faculty orientation will be provided at all participating schools and student workbooks will also be delivered. Access to the Jumpstart Test Prep Reading and Science materials will be instructed to be released after the national ACT test date in December 2019 to allow more juniors the opportunity to complete at least one ACT® exam attempt prior to utilization of the test prep materials,” said Sha Walker, Co-Founder & CEO of Jumpstart Test Prep. “As of today, the selected schools report 43% or 1238 of the total students in the study have at least one prior ACT exam score for post implementation improvement comparison.”
“As with last year’s realized math and English gains, we expect major improvements when Jumpstart Test Prep’s reading and science prep is properly implemented for these students as well as much higher performance for those with no prior score than they would have scored otherwise.” 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. “Most of us are visual learners. Our review is a highly visual product designed to capture the students’ attention and combined with our workbook allows students to actively participate as they watch our online video review,” Walker concludes.
The company has constructed a program based on over 40 years of work by Mississippi’s 19-year STAR teacher hall-of-fame inductee; the legendary educator and tutor Dot McClendon. Its consistent quality, prestige and innovation is a culmination of her lifetime experience. “I am thrilled by the teacher feedback and the success of our Mississippi High School students using our Jumpstart Test Prep review,” said McClendon. “Opening the door to higher learning for students who may never have been accepted, or able to afford college on their own feels very rewarding in itself.”
The company has found that when students are coached the right way, they can quickly secure significant gains, regardless of their initial proficiency in the subject area.
Walker and McClendon cite the top three competitive distinctions of Jumpstart Test Prep:
- 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.
- 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 build flashcards by completing the blanks and work ACT ® style practice problems as the online review progresses.
- 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.
The 2019-20 pilot program provides the following resources for students and teachers:
- Expert content review and practice, along with test taking tips and strategies delivered in the classroom via streaming video
- Online, on-demand review (8 total modules, each approximately 45 minutes in duration) providing realistic timed practice for the ACT science and reading sections that can be led from the classroom or used individually by students through May 2020
- Consumable student workbooks (Science – 83 pages, Reading – 40 pages) to be completed as lecture content is watched and later used as a student study guide
- Administrator dashboard reflecting the video module completion progress of teachers assigned to proctor the review and/or individual student progress
- On-demand support
The ACT® was first introduced in 1959 by Everett Franklin Lindquist, a University of Iowa professor as an alternative to the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT®). The test, in its current form, is currently administered by ACT®…a nonprofit of the same name. The ACT has seen a gradual increase in the number of test takers since its inception, and in 2011 the ACT® surpassed the SAT ® for the first time in total test takers; that year, 1,666,017 students took the ACT® and 1,664,479 students took the SAT®.