Test-Preparation Vertical: A Game-Changer For EdTech?

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The edtech industry in India which was clocking a healthy year-on-year growth before COVID -19 is predicted to an exponential growth of 8-10 times by 2025 with New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 giving a big thrust for digital education and with the massive adoption of online education by schools and colleges with the pandemic. However, at present with the economy slowly limping back to normal, it is the test-preparation vertical that is giving edtech in India the extra-push to remain in the super-league of high impact creators and revenue generators.

Edtech has already disrupted the traditional education system in India, has provided innovative solutions to impart competencies of creativity and critical thinking and personalized learning spaces online

Evidently, according to the data from Venture Intelligence, the amount of money invested in India's education technology start-ups has increased nearly four times to $1.5 billion in the first nine months of 2020 as compared to $409 million during the entire year of 2019. Currently, edtech stands as the most funded sector in India and is expected to be worth $8.6 billion by 2026. At present, when one looks beyond advanced technology, the edtech market is visible across levels, from online classrooms to the job market and the edtech players are coming out with innovative products and are venturing into unchartered territories such as the test-preparation vertical which is fast catching up with students not only in metro cities but also in Tier-II and III towns. Along with online certifications, the test preparation vertical (from K12 to entrance examinations) comprises 64% of the edtech industry. The presence of highly-qualified teachers and personalized coaching is critical to success while preparing for competitive examinations and edtech has made it possible for students to access expert teachers from the safety of their homes. Moreover, most of the competitive examinations in the country have gone online which has left no option to students other than preparing online.

Edtech has already disrupted the traditional education system in India, has provided innovative solutions to impart competencies of creativity and critical thinking and personalized learning spaces online, and continues to evolve through mobile applications that are truly revolutionizing learning and skill-development. Its entry into the test-preparation and job market has permanently changed the way students prepare for entrance tests and attempt to succeed in job examinations in the country. The test-preparation vertical in edtech was able to address the requirements of the students who are highly competitive and serious as compared to regular learning streams and the same has resulted in high-engagement and retention.

The vertical has democratized the test-preparation market by providing access to all students across India through their novel concept of making content available in regional languages through innovative applications and the same has helped them effectively penetrate to tier II and III towns. Moreover, for those in remote areas with low internet access, edtech companies in the test-preparation vertical have come out with innovative and affordable offline products that have truly contributed towards building a level-play ground for entrance examination aspirants across the country.

The test-preparation vertical thus has emerged as a game-changer in the industry by making learning for entrance examinations both inclusive, affordable, and innovative. It has provided students with the concept of study anywhere, anytime in the language of their choice and the same has increased its reach and has an impact. The availability of regional languages has resulted in its penetration to tier II and III cities. Edtech companies that operate in the sector have launched offline products that made it possible for students in rural areas with less or no internet coverage to use the facility to experience high-quality learning to ensure success for themselves. The growth of the test-preparation vertical is all set to change the face of edtech; which till now has focused on education and skill-development through innovative and personalized formats whereas test-preparation is focused on providing employable skills and access to a career.

With more than 4,450 edtech start ups, the test-preparation vertical by itself projected to grow to $515 million by the end of 2021, and with initiatives of the government in Information and Communication Industry (ICT) such as Swayam, Swayam-Prabha, National Digital Library, e-Yantra, and Virtual Labs, it can safely be assumed that edtech in India is poised to scale greater heights and set a model to the world.