Testbook.com, incorporated in 2014, aims to turn India’s exam-prep landscape into a tech-driven, automated system. Started by four alumni from IIT Bombay, Ashutosh Kumar, Manoj Munna, Praveen Agrawal and Narendra Agrawal, Testbook.com has been instrumental in providing a full-stack portal to prepare for public-sector employment from anywhere in the country.
Testbook.com provides live coaching, online courses, mock tests and doubt resolution to ensure 360 degrees of learning in one place. Plus, reading assignments, practise questions and periodical tests are tactically integrated into the courses to build an effective pedagogy. Testbook’s comparative performance analytics offers a compelling orientation to students.
With a workforce of 450 employees, Testbook.com currently serves more than 90 million applicants who are vying for jobs with a success rate of 7% as compared to the national average of less than 1%. It has produced more than 38,000 selections during the past three years. Currently, the platform has 15 million registered users and 900k+ active paid subscribers ready to crack more than 250 central and state government examinations conducted online.
Analytics India Magazine spoke with Ayush Varshney, the CTO of Testbook, to understand the tech behind this full-stack personalised learning and assessment platform and how it is bridging the gap in the test prep market in India.
The Tech Behind
As per Varshney, Testbook does a lot of research to understand the student mindset and their journey towards their dream career. “All the innovations of Testbook have been geared towards making student’s life easier by taking care of affordability, removing entry barriers, and democratising test prep education in a true sense of the word,” said Varshney.
Testbook believes personal attention is not just about assigning a mentor, but creating personalised learning paths giving individualised recommendations based on strengths and weakness analysis and comparative analysis of aspirants.
Explaining the process, Varshney stated, the personalised recommendations engines are built using massive student datasets and work on machine learning algorithms designed to improve learning recommendations by identifying strengths and weaknesses of each student and determining the right difficulty of questions to be included in tests, quizzes and practice modules.
Further, the content team leverages ML algorithms to identify the difficulty level of questions to create the perfect weekly tests, full tests and quizzes for students to practice and analyse their preparation. The products also use intelligent recommendations to identify and suggest relevant exams to the students.
The team is also working on a proprietary algorithm to determine a student’s preparation level for any particular exam, based on the data across all his interactions on Testbook. “This will be a game-changer in the market and the huge amount of student assessment and learning data captured over the last seven years uniquely enables us to do this,” added Varshney.
The startup is currently armed with AI-driven systems for its sales team that score users based on the likelihood to purchase a particular course.
Testbook has even built an offline seamless video lecture streaming feature in the mobile app, which ensures undisrupted video lecture streaming at the lowest possible data cost. This innovation has helped students hailing from the small towns of India, where internet speeds are slow.
Testbook is actively using a scalable microservice architecture with Golang, Redis, Rabbitmq and MongoDB for its backend. However, for the web frontend, the company uses the Angular framework, and for the Android platform, it uses native Kotlin development with MVVM (Model-view-viewModel) architecture. “Our focus on efficiencies at scale has helped us keep the product affordable by minimising the server and cloud infrastructure costs,” said Varshney.
The pandemic was a tipping point for the company when schools, universities, and coaching institutes remained shut for almost a year. This has urged students, parents and teachers to turn to online learning providers. Being an edtech platform, Testbook has managed to secure a funding of $ 8.3 million from Matrix Partners, Iron Pillar, AngelList India and Better Capital in January 2020. Currently, the startup has more than 1.5 crore registered students with more than 18 lakh paid students who have solved more than three billion questions on the platform. The company added more than 1,000 members in the past six months, including 110 full-timers, 297 interns, and 679 freelancer content creators.
In the next three years, Testbook expects to achieve 20X growth by going in-depth in all state-level government exams to cover maximum demographics in India while adding new verticals like professional skills courses to cater to the requirements of private job aspirants as well. Further, the company is planning to build and provide online learning and skilling solutions to hundreds of millions of youth which will ensure jobs for freshers and experienced professionals in a seamless fashion.
“We are currently leading a team of 3000+ workforce to establish disruption in education and employability, and are working towards establishing the most reliable and trustworthy distribution network and consumer support system in every corner of Bharat,” concluded Varshney.