A notable trend in the Indian education industry, particularly in the Test Prep segment, is the increasing shift towards the online platform. With several competitive exams such as CAT and IIT-JEE moving to the online platform, the market for online content, e-books and interactive study material in schools has burgeoned as well. Moreover, students are becoming increasingly adept with technology due to an increase in internet and smartphone penetration. This shift to the online platform has been addressed by several players, both those who are already present in the traditional brick-and-mortar model as well as by new entrants who operate entirely in the online segment.
In next five years, if online learning cannot replace the traditional classroom, it will complement it with better reach, analysis, and personalisation and will increase the competitiveness of examinations by providing a level playing field for aspirants of small towns who were earlier deprived of best resources. Also, since Indian students are much used to self-study, a learning platform in India has to integrate well with the traditional classroom rather than being an alternate.
The test preparation market is currently dominated by class coaching which is highly unorganised, and students are often deprived of best resources due to geographical constraints. Online training is an answer to this. The market opportunity in this sector is enormous, and the ecosystem is conducive to cater to online consumption of content and resources.
Online presence entails some benefits, namely:
Convenience: Online classes and content can be accessed anytime as per one’s convenience as opposed to attending classes physically at a pre-determined time.
Flexibility: Online classes and content allow students to revisit content at any given time as opposed to concepts being explained just once by a teacher or professor in a physical setting.
Affordability: Online classes and content are relatively cheaper than traditional brick-and-mortar classes; moreover, online content and training are accessible to students from smaller towns who do not have access to physical classrooms or who cannot afford to move to bigger cities to attend coaching classes.
Machine Learning models are employed to deliver useful analytics not just at the topic level but down to the level of questions. The analytical charts are drawn on perimeters such as Accuracy, marks distribution, Rank, Percentile, etc. Not just that, a portfolio for each student is maintained which showcases the number of attempts, Total time spent, Accuracy Breakdown, Marks breakdown and more.
Mobile support for running tests has been a significant boost.
While the online platform faces constraints in the form of language, infrastructure and lack of personal touch, it is expected to play a more complementary role in the test prep industry, going forward.
The online test preparation market is at a point of inflexion, poised to boom over the next 2-3 years. It can be broadly divided into test preparation, tutoring and online courses. E-learning in India is the next big thing after the e-commerce success story and is anticipated to reach $1.28 Bn by 2017-18
The online test preparation market is majorly dominated by aspirants who are under the age group 19-25 and greater than 25.
Currently, the test preparation market size stands at over 18 Mn students, with an annual growth rate of 20-25%. At an average ticket size of INR 10000, the market value currently stands at around INR18,000 crore.
Also, as compared to a lot of western (developed) markets where online is an intrinsic part of preparing for any exam, India is witnessing ed-tech for the very first time in its full glory. While one would find a lot of MOOC’s (Massively Online Open Courses) thriving globally, the focus in India and a lot of similar emerging markets is still very much on learning outcomes or improving marks.
Earlier, each state used to conduct their exams for entrance but with the exams going national, online test prep players can formulate courses for a whole nation’s audience instead of local focus. Centralised product development with high-quality materials benchmarked with the latest requirements will help compete in the big market.
Current Players and their Innovations
Mettl’s relevant industry experience clubbed with its robust technology can help both, the test preparation institutes and the preparing individuals.
Online platform: Mettl has one of the most stable and mature online assessment platforms in the world today. It has run tests in the remotest corners of the country with minimal bandwidth requirements. It gives the candidates a beforehand experience of the online testing system and helps them acclimatise with the environment.
Also, the platform is very easy to use. One can upload all types of questions (MCQ’s, MCA’s, FITB, Short Answer, etc.) with a click of a button. Mettl supports bulk uploading of the question using simplest of tools like Excel.
Mettl’s platform support all Indian languages. Hence, the question can be uploaded, viewed and attempted in the local language of the candidate.
Analytics: Mettl’s platform also comes bundled with its reporting module which is very useful in understanding the assessment performance. Question wise, section wise, time wise analytics, Question bank health, top performers, worst performers, areas of improvement, etc. are some reports that help the candidate understand their preparation standard and assist them in planning accordingly
Data Security: Mettl is both ISO 27001:2013 & 9001:2015 Certified .Mettl is also TRUST-E certified and also cater to the Safe-Harbour regulation requirements of the European Union.
With the high-class encryption algorithms and security checks in place, clients can be rest assured that their data & intellectual property is in safe hands.
Remote Invigilation. Mettl provides cost-efficient Web and Video based Remote Auto Proctoring Solutions that can eliminate the cost of logistics around assessments. This feature not only ensures a wider outreach but also ensures that a candidate is not able to cheat even when he/she is taking the test at a remote location.
Content and Assessment Creation excellence: we have a dedicated in-house team with more than 100 yrs of cumulative experience of psychometrics, instructional design and content creation that makes us the partner of choice for creating assessment content. We today support assessments for more than 700 skills across various industries, job roles and geographies