The Mississippi School of the Arts (MSA) is happy to announce it is in the top of the state once again for its ACT scores. Known for the exceptional talent that comes from across the state of Mississippi, MSA also has demonstrated academic success through the college admissions test. The State of Mississippi has provided the ACT as a free test for all juniors in high school for the past several years. In February each year, juniors across the state take the test in an effort to gain scores that can not only get acceptance to their college of choice, but also garner scholarship offers.

In February 2018, what is now the current class of 2019, took their state administered test. Results were released by the Mississippi Department of Education indicating that MSA is second in the state with a 22.5 average. Since that administration, the Class of 2019 has continued to improve their scores. As of October 2018, 40% of the class has a 25 or higher. Of those, 12% have a 30 or higher.

“ACT preparation work is a schoolwide effort, with a tremendous impact made by Ms. Dot McClendon,” said Suzanne Hirsch, MSA Executive Director. MSA hosts workshops throughout the school year outside of the school day and on weekends led by Ms. McClendon. Additionally, Jumpstart Test Prep materials are used in English and Math classes at MSA. English classes work on reading comprehension alongside writing skills to enhance their vocabulary, comprehension, and grammar knowledge.

Every junior receives a practice test book upon arrival to the school and it is utilized in the workshops. Students are constantly given opportunities to practice and hone their ACT test taking skills while at MSA, and it shows. The ACT college profile reports consistently show that MSA students are college ready in all areas of the test. The school’s average is always higher than the state and national average on the test, which increases chances for higher scholarships, lower remediation needs, and more options for college.

“The ACT prep work has helped our students of all academic backgrounds, with some moving 4 to 6 points higher in one test administration. The work being done to meet college and career readiness standards is truly awesome for our students, and for Mississippi’s future,” said Debra Henderson, Principal at MSA.

For more information about Mississippi School of the Arts, the admissions process, and how you can be a part of our community of support, contact Jennifer Jackson at 601-823-1300 or

ACT is a trademark of American College Testing.

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