Western Hills High School Improves ACT Composite by 2 Points

Western Hills High School Improves ACT Composite by 2 Points

Not even a high wind and rain storm that knocked out power and postponed the ACT® could shake the confidence and focus of Western Hills High students.

Juniors from the Frankfort, Kentucky-based high school improved their ACT composite average by 2.1 points, including a jump of 3.5 points in English, on the March 8th mandated ACT Test held at Western Hills High.

On March 2nd, Western Hills partnered with MasteryPrep to host a Boot Camp for the ACT for 67 juniors who were 1-4 points away from meeting Kentucky system-wide benchmarks in any of the ACT sections. The ACT was scheduled for March 7th, but on March 3rd, wind gusts as high as 70 mph blew through Frankfort and left thousands without power, causing school closure. 

“It was not ideal for trying to get the best rest and nutrition for the big exam. It adds to the impact that the MasteryPrep Boot Camp had on helping students stay confident, focused, and relaxed, even through adversity,” said Ryan King, Principal of Western Hills High School.

“Relentless” Efforts

The Western Hills High 2023 junior class – 181 students – scored an 18.8 composite, up 2.1 from the 16.7 the same students scored as sophomores in 2022. English improved 3.5 (15.3 to 18.8); Reading, up 2.1 (17.1 to 19.2); Science, up 1.7 (17.4 to 19.1); and Math, up 1.3 (16.4 to 17.7).

“Like everyone, our scores trended downward over recent years, but our teachers and staff are relentless in their efforts to prepare students to be college and career-ready,” King said. “You can see from the data and timeline that along with the tremendous efforts of our teachers, MasteryPrep played a pivotal role in our improvement."

King added that Western Hills High teachers held extra study sessions and researched various ACT prep programs with our School-Based Decision-Making Council ultimately landing on MasteryPrep’s Boot Camp for the ACT as a way to help as many students as possible to reach benchmark scores.

King said the 67 students who attended the MasteryPrep Boot Camp for the ACT showed an average increase of 2.1 points on their composite score, with 56 students growing by 1-7 points. One student-athlete improved his composite from 19 to 21. He exhibited a six-point jump in English from 14 to 20 and achieved benchmarks in that section and overall.

“His opportunities to compete at the Division I level have opened up now that he has achieved benchmark,” King said. “Increased confidence – knowing how many you need to get correct to earn your goal score, and improved timing – knowing how to pace yourself, were the two biggest sets of feedback our students shared from the benefits of the boot camp.”

*Unpaid testimonial. Individual results may vary, and testimonials are not claimed to represent typical results. ACT score average and gain data courtesy of MasteryPrep client district and based on year over year ACT test data for the same cohort. All testimonials are real participants, and may not reflect the typical user’s experience, and are not intended to represent or guarantee that anyone will achieve the same or similar results.

“A return on investment that any school would want”

MasteryPrep offers Boot Camps for the ACT, SAT®, WorkKeys, End of Course assessments, and the TSIA2. Districts and schools can purchase a one-day Boot Camp for the ACT (6-hour in-person or 4-hour virtual) led by a MasteryPrep instructor who teaches pacing and time management, test-taking techniques and strategies, and reviews the most highly tested content in English, Math, Reading, and Science. All students receive a workbook to practice in during and following the Boot Camp.

“We encouraged our teachers to attend the boot camp throughout the day, and they were very impressed by the content, presentation, and level of engagement,” King said. “When you can engage 70 students for that long in one day, keep their attention, and get those results, it’s a return on investment that any school would want.”

MasteryPrep instructor Wes Sebree delivered the Boot Camp for Western Hills High and received the following feedback from students:

“My experience with Wes Sebree was engaging and amazing! I learned a lot of great strategies that I plan on using when I take the test.”
"This was very helpful in learning how to maximize your time and learn techniques.”
"I truly feel more confident in my testing abilities after this session.”
“Wes Sebree taught me test taking strategies that I will actually use during the test!”

The success of the Boot Camp has prompted King to not only re-order the Boot Camp for 2024, but also invest in MasteryPrep’s professional development resource “Decoding: A Teacher’s Guide to Prep for the ACT” that will be delivered this summer to 12 teachers. The professional development course provides teachers with strategies for incorporating test-taking skills into their everyday core curriculum motivating students to succeed on the ACT and in academics.

“Our teachers want to implement ACT strategies into their courses, into our Den classes which are our flex time periods, and make ACT prep an important and sustainable part of our academic culture,” King said.

About MasteryPrep:

MasteryPrep provides mastery-based college readiness services and resources for the SAT®, ACT®, TSIA2, EOC, and WorkKeys®. MasteryPrep is the nationally preferred SAT and ACT prep provider of the Council for Opportunity in Education and licensed by ACT to include official ACT test questions in its programs. MasteryPrep partners with schools and districts to help level the standardized assessment playing field. MasteryPrep has ranked among the Inc. 5000 “Fastest Growing Companies” for six years and is a featured “Entrepreneur 360” company.


MasteryPrep is here to bridge the gap in an e-learning environment by providing your students with much needed college readiness preparation.

Check out our distance learning solutions:

Or click here to download our newly updated catalog.