Desoto County News

Program helps Horn Lake juniors improve ACT English scores

Photo: Back row from left, Horn Lake High School interim principal Paul Chrestman, Jacob Brown, David Flores, X’Zorion Piere, and assistant principal Mazie Lamb. Front row from left: Dakota Ross and Graycie Pegram. (Courtesy photo)

DeSoto County Schools (DCS) makes a concerted effort each year to get high school students ready for the important college entrance exams. ACT Prep courses are offered and students can take prep tests to have a better idea what will be on the actual American College Testing (ACT) examination.  

Another option for youngsters at Horn Lake High School this year has been a program called Jumpstart Test Prep and it has shown significant improvement in the English portion of the ACT for juniors at the school. A news release to that effect was issued late last week by Jumpstart Test Prep. 

Based in Brookhaven, Jumpstart Test Prep is an online review program based on more than a half-century of work by legendary Mississippi educator Dot McClendon. 

Using Jumpstart Test Prep, 69 percent of Horn Lake juniors taking the ACT exam in February had an average ACT English score improvement of 3.17 points over their previous best score. 

Additionally, 48 percent of Horn Lake juniors saw an average increase of 2.05 composite points over the previous best result.  

Horn Lake assistant principal Mazie Lamb was quoted in the news release expressing her pride in the students’ results. 

“Jumpstart Test Prep provided a thorough and solid review of English grammar skills that students may not have used daily since middle school,” Lamb said. “It was a refresher course for students and a reminder of their basic grammar rules. Any teacher could facilitate the implementation of the Jumpstart program.”

Among the students who used the program to prepare for the ACT was Graycie Pegram, who saw an improvement of 10 points in her English subscore from 20 to 30.  

“It reviewed a lot of material that I haven’t seen in a long time and it made it easier to remember things I learned during middle school,” Pegram said. “Jumpstart used realistic example sentence problems to help me prepare for the ACT and that made a big difference.” 

Another student who saw marked improvement in his score was Jacob Brown, who improved from 30 to 34 in his English part of the examination.  

“Jumpstart helped give me a better familiarization with the ACT and definitely made a difference in my time management skills.” Brown said, “The questions were very realistic and seemed just like the ones that were on the ACT. Jumpstart is a very well-made review program and it made a difference in my scores.” 

All juniors at Horn Lake had access to the following resources:

  • Expert content review and practice, along with test-taking tips and strategies delivered in the classroom via streaming video
  • Online, on-demand, five-hour review (eight modules, approximately 40 minutes each) of English content tested by the ACT® that could be led from the classroom or used individually by students
  • Consumable student workbooks for each subject area to be completed in conjunction with lecture content and later used as a student study guide
  • Online assessment or the English review area, which linked students back to their weaker areas reviewed in the Jumpstart module content
  • School administrators utilized an online dashboard reflecting the video module completion progress of teachers assigned to proctor the review and/or individual student progress.

Jumpstart Test Prep also offers review programs for Mathematics, Reading, and Science.

More information about Jumpstart Test Prep can be found at

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