ACT® Scores Surge Upward for the Mississippi School of the Arts, Utilizing Jumpstart Test Prep

Mississippi School of the Arts

ACT English, ACT Math, ACT Reading, and ACT Science scores show significant improvement over prior best scores, with nearly 70% improving an average of 2.6 composite points.

​​​​Jumpstart Test Prep and the Mississippi School of the Arts (MSA) today released the ACT improvement results for their junior class, who prepared for the state-administered February 2020 ACT® exam (American College Testing). Following completion of Jumpstart’s complete ACT prep review, nearly 75 percent of the students had an average ACT English score improvement of +4.8 points over their best prior attempt. Similarly, the Arts School had 63 percent of its students improving their Math scores by an average of +3 points and over 50 percent improving by an average of +3.8 points in the Science and Reading test sub-scores.

 “Our students did very well with the Jumpstart Test Prep program, and I feel our plan to include the Jumpstart review within the MSA curriculum with selected teachers was a great addition to what we are doing in the classroom,” said Suzanne Hirsch, Executive Director of Mississippi School of the Arts.  “Our teachers worked hard to deliver the program as prescribed by Jumpstart co-founder and former MSA teacher Dot McClendon. It was used as a review of content and practice within the few weeks before our juniors re-tested on the ACT in February.  The online, on-demand ACT review Dot has created gets results.” All juniors at MSA received subject area preparation through Jumpstart within their classes or after school through an individualized schedule around a rigorous school day. Hirsch said, “We are proud of the efforts of our students and teachers to prepare for this important test. These scores will be life-changing for college acceptance and scholarship offers. MSA students traditionally have extraordinarily high scholarship offers to college and receive career training through a seminar format and college preparation. Jumpstart Test Prep is an exceptional addition to our programming. Together, we know our students will be given the best chance for success!”

Analysis of the MSA’s results was conducted by third party Jake Hoskins, PhD.  “Testing the difference (both in raw change and in percentage terms) between the post- and pre-exam scores is a highly attractive approach to assessing the success of the Jumpstart Test Prep program.  This simple metric of the program’s effectiveness allows the student-specific factors to be cancelled out (as they are present in both measurements). Thus, confounding factors such as student aptitude, home situation, family income, etc. are all effectively controlled for with this analysis approach. We found that more than half of students showed improvement (after the Jumpstart review) in each sub-area of the exam (see Figure 1 and Figure 2 below).

“Scores improved substantially in both raw and percentage terms,” Hoskins added, “As can be seen by Figures 3 & 4.

Hoskins concluded, “These scores gains are all statistically significant as well. To gauge statistical significance, the array of individual score changes were considered in a two-tail test of significance at the standard level used in statistical analyses (the 5% level). This threshold effectively gives us 95% confidence that the results observed in this sample would generalize to the population of interest (i.e., all High School Juniors)”.

Many MSA students demonstrated major improvements:

  • Math - 13 students improved 3 or more points including +10- and +16-point improvements.
  • Science- 22 students improved 3 or more points including a +8- and several +7-point improvements.
  • English – 31 students improved 3 or more points including a +12- and several +9-point improvements.
  • Reading- 17 students improved 3 or more points including a +9-, +8- and several +7-point improvements.

“We are so proud of the teachers at the Mississippi School of the Arts for their diligence and reinforcement of the implementation within their classrooms. I know several MSA teachers have assisted Dot with the editing and passages created for the Jumpstart review,” said Sha Walker, Co-Founder & CEO of Jumpstart Test Prep. “MSA students are to be commended as well for their hard work and determination.  Their work to complete the Jumpstart program and additional practice will result in more academic scholarships in the coming year.  For many, these score improvements are game-changers.”

Jumpstart Test Prep has constructed an online review 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.

“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 the Jumpstart review provides,” offered McClendon. “As a teacher at MSA and several other schools during my career, I was able to help guide the preparation of their students in person. Now though our on-demand video review, students in MSA classrooms, as well as classrooms around the county, and around the breakfast table or couch at home, are able to benefit from our approach.”

“With this year’s pandemic fallout, parents and children at home are struggling to achieve academic continuity. The Jumpstart Test Prep ACT review can serve to build knowledge and skills as well, said Walker.  “My 8th grade son is completing a Jumpstart Math module a day with his workbook, and he’s learning concepts not yet covered in class!”

The company’s website,, describes their program as a review utilizing streaming video modules that are delivered on-demand. The program is designed for classroom integration or individual study and proven to help 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. Students follow and complete the accompanying workbook as the review proceeds. Modules review the must-know content, include testing strategies specific to the exam, and conclude with realistic question practice modeled from actual "retired" exams that are provided under time constraint. According to student reviews of the program on the website, the program helps students with time management, allowing them to work faster on test day.

The company has found that when students are coached step-by-step, 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:

  1. Proven exam prep expertise honed over a lifetime of successful results. The content review is delivered on-demand.  It is highly visual and animated.  Students respond to the ACT®-style practice questions. 
  2. The Jumpstart Test Prep review is 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.
  3. Improved time management.  Jumpstart Test Prep reviews content step-by-step, and then shows how to apply that content with follow-up examples.  The examples are followed 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 at MSA had access to the following resources from Jumpstart Test Prep:

  • Expert content review and practice, along with test taking tips and strategies delivered in the classroom via streaming video​
  • Online, on-demand, 24-hour complete ACT review (36 modules, approximately 40 minutes each) of English, Math, Reading, and Science content tested by the ACT® that could be led from the classroom or used individually by students through May 2020
  • Consumable student workbooks to be completed as lecture content was 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.

The company’s ACT® subject area prep can be purchased individually à la carte at

About Jumpstart Test Prep

Jumpstart Test Prep ( is a leading provider of educational services for individuals and schools. Established in 2015, Jumpstart Test Prep is a strong leader in the test prep industry.

Jumpstart's streaming video modules are delivered on-demand, and are designed for classroom integration or individual study. Jumpstart’s methodology is proven to help students of all ability levels stay fully engaged and gain the most score improvement in the shortest time by explaining difficult content in a way that every student can follow and understand. Each module reviews the must-know content, includes testing strategies specific to the exam, and concludes with realistic question practice.

Jumpstart Test Prep currently provides exam preparation for the ACT®, GED®, HiSet®, TASC®, Praxis® Core and ACT WorkKeys®.

For more information on Jumpstart Test Prep, please visit: and visit them on Facebook at:

Media Contact:

Robert Cadogan​​
Email: ​
Phone: 833-835-8329

ACT® and ACT WorkKeys® are registered trademarks of ACT, Inc. GED® is a registered trademark of American Council on Education Corp. HiSet® and Praxis® are registered trademarks of Educational Testing Service. TASC® Test Assessing Secondary Completion is the registered trademark of Data Recognition Corp. Jumpstart Test Prep is not affiliated with or endorsed by any of these companies.


Source: Jumpstart Test Prep


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