NAVIGATING NAVIANCE:BenchPrep has partnered with Hobsons to create Naviance Test Prep, a learning management system for the tests commonly required for college acceptance. The program is an amalgamation of both companies' signature software platforms: BenchPrep's BluePrint, which delivers test preparation lessons for the ACT, SAT and AP tests; and Hobsons's Naviance, a management system for college-and-career-readiness standards.
Hobsons will use its network of distributors to bring Naviance Test Prep to schools districts in the US and abroad. Their goal is to integrate test prep into the schools' consideration of every student's learning goals. The platform also enables data transfer between the school and test prep centers.
"There are books, online materials and test centers, but test prep has always been this siloed, insulated product," BenchPrep founder Ashish Rangnekar said. "This partnership allows us to break through that."
The partnership expands Benchprep's business model. Previously a solely direct-to-consumer business, it sought the partnership with Hobsons to access the school and district market. Benchprep estimates that only 20 percent of students in the US are motivated enough to seek out extracurricular test preparation. Both companies now hope that every student, teacher and counselor that uses Naviance will now have access to test preparation.
Ten thousand schools and districts use Naviance, according to a press release. Rangnekar expects to triple his company's current user base of one million, which has taken it six years to cultivate. During Naviance Test Prep's first month, 185,000 students registered for its course on the new SAT, indicating the product will grow faster than any of Benchprep's previous offerings.
According to Rangnekar, Hobsons has the largest share of the college-and-career readiness market, making it a very strategic partner for his company. Rangnekar isn't looking to sell. Rather, he foresees a deeper partnership that will expand into different tests. Hobson and Benchprep are beginning with 20 test-prep courses, and Rangnekar wants hundreds. The key to this kind of expansion will be implementation.
"At a school level, the resources being offered to the teachers are really not inclusive. The school systems, administrators and teachers have to work harder to implement these open resources. What gets me most excited about this partnership is our ability crack that piece of the puzzle. Two parts, specifically: just how engaging is this learning platform? Equally important is how well we can actually work with these schools and teachers and make sure it's actually used."