Testive, an alum of TechStars’ Boston accelerator, has developed a new line of test-preparation products in partnership with MIT that seek to make old-school testing and test prep obsolete. With 10,000 students already using its customized test prep experiences, the startup is today announcing that it has raised $500,000 in seed funding, led by a group of prominent Boston-based angel investors.
The startup’s roster of angels includes Jean Hammond, an early investor in ZipCar and Pixability, Eileen Rudden, the former CEO of Chicago Public Schools’ College Prep, Hubspot co-founder Dharmesh Shah and Avid founder Bill Warner. Don McLagan, an investor and the former CEO of Compete.com, has joined Testive’s board as an observer. It’s a roster that looks very familiar to the one recently compiled by crowdsourced best-seller discovery site, Libboo.
Building on years of research in adaptive testing and learning, the startup’s core “TurboTest” software and prep product, SAT Habit seek to help students rapidly improve their scores on high-stakes exams by allowing them to exclusively study the areas where they’re struggling.
“Somewhere between cheap, boring prep books and expensive classes and tutors is an opportunity to deliver online test prep that doesn’t suck,” says co-founder and CEO Miro Kazakoff. “Testive is building the tools that let students learn more efficiently and more enjoyably.”
So, beyond automatically generating assessments and practice tests on students’ weaknesses and strengths, Kazakoff thinks that Testive’s biggest differentiator is that, by adapting question difficulty to the students, the startup can accurately predict your SAT score in a third of the time it would take a full-length test to do the same. With every question students answer, Testive updates its prediction so that students can always have a sense of how they’d perform on the SAT and whether or not they’re improving.
Kazakoff claims that Testive is the only company that is currently developing this kind of rapid SAT score prediction tech, although Testive does plan to license that technology to those interested in integrating it into existing platforms or prep tools.
Under normal circumstances, students need to take a full-length practice test in order to see how they stand score-wise, which can take four hours. And most students have no idea whether they’re improving as they study — until they take those dreaded practice tests. Thus, students spend an inordinate amount of time studying things that don’t matter (or help their scores). By using Testive, they can gain a better sense of what they understand well and what they don’t, optimizing the time they spend studying.
Testive also features videos from actual teachers to help them study. They provide explanations of each question on the test, giving them the interactivity of a personalized, at-home tutor without having to go to some creepy old test helper’s home where their cats will relieve themselves on your practice tests.
Others to check out in this space? NEA-backed BenchPrep. Testive is possible acquisition material for the Chicago-based adaptive learning hub.
For more, check out Testive at home here. Video below: