Forrest County School District posted the largest ACT growth in Mississippi, leaping from an average composite score of 15.9 to 18.2 (2.3-point increase). It was the second year in a row that a MasteryPrep partner school posted the highest ACT growth in Mississippi. Forrest County has partnered with MasteryPrep since 2016.

North Forrest High School Principal Jennifer Riels shared several tips for success when trying to increase scores school-wide.

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5 Tips for Increasing Test Scores School-Wide:

  1. Implement dedicated one-semester class (mandatory unless already at 20-plus).
    Select a strong instructor to teach the class.
  2. Persist across multiple years.
    Build expertise and capacity over a long period of time.
  3. Use TruScore Practice Testing and Analysis for 9th through 11th graders.
    Detailed reports from practice tests give teachers clear test-taking skill metrics and data-driven recommendations.
  4. Employ professional development to build buy-in with teachers.
    It takes several years to change the culture of faculty, staff, and then see it trickle down to students.
  5. Support students every way you can. Buy test vouchers, extra test administrations, and help students sign up for tests.

Forrest County used MasteryPrep’s ACT TruScore program to provide students with authentic practice testing and help their teachers make data-driven decisions to close achievement gaps. Through the years of its partnership with MasteryPrep, Forrest County has also relied on ACT Boot Camps, and in 2019, they rolled out The College Playbook, MasteryPrep’s student-friendly guide to college admissions. North Forrest High School started an ACT Club, which included entry to all students scoring 18 and above. There are celebrations, recognitions around school, awards for silver, bronze, and gold levels, and t-shirts made.

“We have worked with purpose the last several years to grow our student’s success on the ACT and raise scores consistently every year, which has led to numerous scholarship and monetary awards to graduates,” said Riels, who added that 48 graduates earned $2 million in scholarships this past school year. “We have elevated the academic environment, changed our culture, instilled a high level of pride and passion, and provided the necessary resources to our teachers and students to inspire them to grow into and achieve opportunities for their futures.”

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