Challenge: When a high potential education startup wanted to reach new clientele and partnerships, they needed to assess the opportunity in Tennessee.

Background: High school students may perform well in all their classes and have an amazing list of extracurriculars, but their performance on the ACT and SAT also has a major impact on their success getting into college. Preparation is key, but not all students have access to quality tutorials and test prep tools to get them ready for test day.

Most private school students begin standardized test prep in 8th or 9th grade, taking multiple preparation tests before the “no stakes” test in the years leading up to the critical 11th and 12th grade tests. But many public school students in Nashville don’t have that kind of access and practice opportunity.

TestRocker, a successful company in the private school realm both domestically and internationally, improves student performance by expanding access to student online tutoring training. It includes online, comprehensive, customized SAT and ACT programs, bolstered by a regimen of practice testing, that were developed by the founder, an expert private tutor with more than 15 years of SAT/ACT tutoring experience. Used as prescribed, TestRocker results in average score increases of 280 points on the SAT and 4 points on the ACT.

Solution: Ezell Consulting worked with TestRocker to research moving its expertise and tools from strictly private school students to Nashville public high school students. LEAD Academy charter schools, with the flexibility to move quickly and test the tool with its students, staged a trial in the summer of 2015. The trial demonstrated the challenges of working in the public high school arena and, for the moment, TestRocker continues its work with traditional client groups, hoping to return to Tennessee public high schools as they grow and develop as a company.