Online Test Preparation
June 2010

Online Test Preparation

Views: 395

Test preparation is increasingly becoming attractive for students in India. With the growing competitiveness in the job market and stringent examination rigours, more and more students are relying on study materials from coaching classes to supplement their routine lectures. Of late, several companies including Educomp, have entered into the multi billion dollar industry of supplemental education using VSAT. Under graduate test preparation has been the focus for several such new initiatives, and have included preparation services for IIT, PMT and AIEEE.

Online CAT Preparation services have included platforms to assist students from different cities across India to access high quality content, tests and study material.  Vital to this development have been the growth trends in Web 2.0 and e-Learning technologies. Companies that provide Learning Management Systems (LMS), authoring tools and simulation tools are providing the enabling technologies used by trainers to provide Web 2.0 services to end users.

New technologies are bringing in varied ways of conducting courses, seminars, discussion forums and other approaches to learning, to be delivered online, with ground-breaking methods to interact with instructors and students. Tools such as personal digital assistants (PDAs), MP3 Players, CD-RO, Web 2.0 tools, discussion and bulletin boards, collaborative software, computer aided testing and assessment, educational animation, simulation, and games, LMS and podcasts are being used in the e-learning environment. There has been a gradual spurt in the use of the Internet and technology in education. Internet has the added advantages of being readily usable, highly interactive and flexible content. Additionally, the capacity of the Internet to scale and reach out to a large number of users have increased its benefits in education.

Several companies are now providing campus education network which is accessed and beneficial for the student community and young professionals. Services include  helping students get information on campus admission processes, available courses and couseling services. Diverse range of products are offered across different segments including MBA, engineering, overseas study, vocational and IT courses, as well as Bachelor's programmes in various disciplines. Ready online guidance is provided to students on the latest in the educational trends and requisites for growth and expansion. These services also help in connecting students to educational institutes and vice versa.

The Investors Choice

Online test preparation and technology enabled coaching centres are now becoming attractive for investors and venture capitalists.  Many investors today are on the look out for education service providers who have been using technology to advance their business propositions.
According to Anirudh Singh from Canaan Partners, any company which uses technology as a tool to scale up, including coaching, test preparation, online tutoring etc. will be the focus for investments in the current scenario. The highlight is the informal education or supplemental education sector. Online tutoring models have good potential during the medium term.

The test preparation sector has a huge market.  However, he states, that the largest coaching institute in India occupies only 3% of the market.

The K-12 segment still needs to be tapped and made use of for increased business options.

Srikanth Rajasankar
Founder & MD
Tutor Orbit e-Learning Pvt. Ltd

What is the growth potential for online test preparation market in India?

Simply put the growth potential is enormous. With changing times and very favourable demographics, it is only going to get bigger. The only moot point which needs to be watched is what and when is the “Inflection point” that is going to change the landscape for better.

Why has this segment gained popularity of late?

Online tests are the way to go in future.  Sooner or Later most competitive examinations will change to online format. Given the thirst for reform in the education sector, and the eagerness to reach to a large section of population with minimal resources Online Test formats will start gaining popularity.  One additional benefit of online test formats is that it is a great leveller by taking out the subjectivity in paper correction and assessing all on a equal scale.

What are the advantages to students in enrolling for Test Prep services?

Online Test Prep services give the students an opportunity to assess themselves, identify their strengths and weakness and work on improving their preparedness.  As more and more exams become objective based and online, it will also help them to simulate the exam condition and gain valuable experience close to real test situation.

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