Three Moms and a Test

2023 March 8, Wednesday
BlairtToday Staff Writer

The ACT is an important assessment tool used by colleges and universities to evaluate a student’s readiness for college-level work. It measures knowledge in four subjects: English, math, reading, and science. The ACT helps colleges and universities make informed decisions about which students to admit and how to place them in appropriate courses.

However, many students struggle with the ACT, and this can have consequences for their academic futures. A low ACT score may limit a student’s options for colleges and universities, making it harder for them to get into the schools of their choice. And, a low ACT score may result in a student being placed in remedial courses, which can significantly delay their progress towards earning a degree.

Test prep services can be a valuable resource for students who are struggling with the ACT test. These services can provide students with the tools and strategies they need to succeed on the test. For example, test prep services can help students identify their strengths and weaknesses, and provide targeted practice in areas where they need improvement. Test prep services can also help students become familiar with the test format and develop time management skills.

If you are a parent of a high school junior or senior, you know the stress and worry that comes with the ACT. Here in Blair, I watched both my sons study for the ACT, and both used prep courses. Since we home-schooled, we had an advantage in the way our sons were able to prepare, I believe. However, not all families are as fortunate.

When I found out about a test-prep service available to Blair students through the high school, I contacted the owners. I had the opportunity to interview one of the founders of Three Moms and a Test, Mary Kay Leatherman to learn about their journey and the impact of their business on students preparing for college.

Mary Kay Leatherman is an accomplished teacher who taught English, Journalism, and Creative Writing for twelve years in Nebraska at both Archbishop Bergan High School and Burke High School. She has won numerous awards for her excellence in teaching, including the 1992 Nebraska Teacher Achievement Award and the 1995 Showcase Teacher Award. Mary Kay has also published two books, including her debut novel Vanity Insanity, and she continues to write and teach part-time while developing the 3MT program.


The idea of Three Moms and a Test emerged in 2005 when one founder, Mary Kay Leatherman, started tutoring English on the ACT Test. Another mother, Janice Rech, joined in to offer math tutoring, and they taught small classes until 2007 when the third mother, Sara Smith, joined them to complete the content on the ACT Test. These three mothers, all with high school classroom experience, brought their fields of expertise together to create a competitive program that they wanted their own kids to take. Their program is based on the idea that ACT test preparation should not be exclusive but instead be affordable and available to every young student looking to take the exam.

Mary Kay Leatherman, Three Moms and a Test

The program grew, and thirteen instructors continued to enhance Three Moms and a Test to be effective in helping thousands of students over the course of the past nineteen years get ready for the test and college. The founders believe their program is unique because it is designed to be affordable, accessible, and effective in helping students prepare for the ACT test.

When asked about their connection to Blair, one of the original “moms,” Janice Rech, had five children go through Blair High School. This connection brought them to Blair six years ago, and they have enjoyed working with students, counselors, and administrators at Blair High School ever since.

With so many options available today, I asked Mary Kay how Three Moms and a Test helps students prepare in ways other methods may not. According to Mary Kay, students who have success with their program tell them that they helped them get their heads around the mindset of the test and directed them to a very “doable” approach to their independent work. In other words, their program helps students not only prepare for the test but also develop the skills and mindset needed to succeed in college.

Finally, I asked if they had one thing to tell parents about what they do, how it can help their children, or anything else they believed I should include. Mary Kay Leatherman responded, “I would want parents who have teenagers getting ready to go to college to know that taking our classes and preparing for the test will help scores, but, more importantly, the program will help students feel better about heading off to college.”

Mary Kay Leatherman, Three Moms and a Test

In conclusion, Three Moms and a Test is a unique program founded by three experienced high school teachers with the goal of making ACT test preparation accessible and affordable to every young student. Their program is designed to not only help students prepare for the test but also develop the skills and mindset needed to succeed in college. The founders believe Three Moms and a Test is effective, and they have helped thousands of students over the course of the past nineteen years get ready for the test and college.

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