Alabama ChartRecently, USATestprep analyzed the scores from the Alabama High School Graduation Exam (AHSGE) and found that, in every subject, users who purchased a subscription saw higher gains than the state average. Scores were compared between 2005 and 2006 in Math, ELA, Science and Social Studies. High Schools were chosen that added their subscription between the two major spring test administrations.

Early this week some of our subscribers experienced a problem with our tests and quizzes. Some students were getting empty quiz and test results after they hit submit. We apologize to those students and teachers.

We analyzed and corrected this problem. Without getting too technical, the error was a result of moving to the new server last weekend. We are confident the problem is corrected and you will not experience it again. If you ever run into any technical or content problems, please let us know immediately. We strive to maintain a quality, user-friendly website and highly value all customer feedback.

We would like to personally thank Jeffery Crane, Vicki Loess and Mary Boatright for helping us diagnose this problem.

New ServerWe are pleased to announce that last weekend (Jan. 20-21) we took a proactive move and upgraded to a new, faster server. Our goal is to provide the fastest and most reliable web experience for our subscribers. Our old server was more than adequate, but we wanted to plan ahead for the upcoming testing season.

We would like to extend our thanks to our hosting company (AlphaOmegaHosting.com) for great service in our transition. If you are in the market for any type of web hosting, we highly recommend this company.

USATestprep v5.0 is now under development! We are very excited about improving the speed and quality of the site while adding new features for you and your students. Rest assured, we will not release this version until significant security and accessibility testing has been completed on it. We have many ideas for new features that we are still considering. However, if you can think of something that you would like to see added to help your students, there is plenty of time – please contact us. We would love to hear your ideas. Send your thoughts to joe@usatestprep.com

We have had so much positive feedback from our “Head of the Class” review game that we decided to make a second version of the game.

The next theme is an alpine climber. We have not decided on the name of the game yet. He must start at his base village and advance 7-8 levels by answering curriculum questions to reach the top of the mountain.

If you have an idea for the game’s name, shoot us an email (info@usatestprep.com).
We hope to launch the new game at the first of the year.
Climber

This morning we added Spanish Hints to all of the Social Studies questions. We are in the process of adding Spanish hints to all questions. Our Reading, Math and Social Studies are now complete, only Science and English left to go. This is our fist step of many to help our ESL subscriber population.

You may find these hints when you are reviewing the tutorial questions. Simply mouse-over our Spanish hint icon and the hint will will appear.

HelpToday one of our new subscribers called informing us that our new help videos were not working.

Our help section contains screen capture quicktime movies of common tasks for our website. We try to test all functions of our site to work in all browsers and all computer types. We work primarily on Mac computers. Nancy found that our movie code was not working on her PCs running Internet Explorer version 6.0. After some quick testing we found the problem in the code and have all the videos working again.

I wanted to thank her and encourage anyone to report technical problems with the site. We work very hard to correct problems in a timely manner.

We know that the AHSGE will soon switch to Biology only. In looking at the DOE AHSGE page, the same science standards are listed that have been there for years. If anyone knows what standards will be implemented or can provide some information, we can get started and make sure we are ready as soon as the state switches over. Contact us at joe@usatestprep.com if you have any information

October Hourly TrafficEver wonder how many students are on the site each hour? This graph displays our hourly total traffic for the Month of October(EST). Our peak traffic is at 10 am EST and then again at 2 pm EST.

We are currently working on a fantastic resource for any school district administrator or curriculum expert. We are building a master district uber page where any district personnel may log in and view school by school statistics gathered from each school’s test stats and usage.

This could be valuable for tracking school use of the site, determining weak areas in district curriculum, and simply making sure each district school is using the site.

If you want to learn more about this, visit this link.