Like a matchmaker for higher ed, a new app feature purports to pair prospective students with the school of their dreams.
Boston-based app developer LTG Exam Platform has introduced a new feature to their free adaptive standardized test prep apps, Prep4SAT and Prep4GMAT, that aims to match students with their ideal colleges.
The new “School Matcher” feature was recently released on iOS and Android, and is designed to make the search phase of the admissions process as easy and fun as using a modern dating app.
Through a unique algorithm based on a student’s personal preferences and estimated test scores, the app will pair its 200,000 users with schools that are predicted to be perfect matches.
How the App Works
More specifically, the algorithm synthesizes information across 30 data points that include answers from a short survey that gauges student preferences on attributes like school size, tuition range and location type. By adding those factors to a list of schools a student is already interested in, the app then finds new compatible institutions to suggest to the user from their database of over 500 schools.
“Choosing which college to go to is one of the biggest decisions I’ll make,” said Jack Chasanoff, a high school senior who recently took the SAT. “The School Matcher feature helped me find schools that weren’t even on my radar, and now they may be major contenders.”
Another new feature in the update is the leaderboard component, which allows students to set up a private user name and then see how other students with similar test scores, or who are located in their area, are faring in the testing and admissions process. This feature may be useful to connect to like-minded students interested in the same schools, or even to simply size up the competition in a friendly way.
(Next page: What institutions get out of it)
For the Institution, and for Mobile
Higher ed institutions are also benefiting from the app, as LTG has made it a priority to work with schools on suitably designing the profile pages that students see when they become matched.
“On the institution side, they want to reach out to students that are the best fits for their program,” said Elad Shoushan, founder and CEO of LTG Exam. “We are able to connect institutions with such a big user base that we’re engaging colleges and universities to more effectively communicate their brand and reputation through mobile.”
Implementing features that help students with college and university selection felt like a natural continuation for LTG, who now aim to make their apps a one-stop shop for the higher-ed admissions process.
“The goal of the company has always been to provide high quality test prep on mobile that is social and specialized,” said Shoushan. “We want to be the best mobile platform to study on. We’ve proved that with the GMAT app, and now the SAT… and we want to continue to add value to the customer.”
Since launching Prep4SAT in May, it has become the #1 SAT app on the Google Play store, and is currently #3 in the iOS store behind the official College Board app. About 40,000 new users are downloading the app monthly.
“Mobile is best because it matches the way that millennials are behaving in the world today,” said Shoushan. “They need info here and now, without waiting too much. Our apps are accessible anywhere, with or without Wi-Fi. The delivery of content has to be well-customized with short, 5-10 minute bursts of learning.”
Adaptive learning is also an important part of LTG’s apps. Students are able to see their weaknesses and strengths thanks to a visually-designed analytics page, which breaks down the most important things for them to focus on moving forward and how to do so.
Teachers and tutors are also able to use the app to track the progress of their students and use the information they gather to customize their lesson plans and improve student weaknesses.
“Apps that are a 24/7 companion and make the best recommendations at all times will be the most useful in the future,’ said Shoushan. “That’s what we’re building at LTG – a 24/7 companion that effectively learns about the user in their process of learning and then aids them in the process of admissions. Why pay for an expensive course and book when a student can try a better, more personalized service for free on their phone?”
Prep4SAT is free to download from the App Store and Google Play, and Prep4GMAT is also free to download from the App Store and Google Play.