Kaplan Test Prep Expands Beyond High-Stakes Exam Preparation into Academic Help Programs

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC)
Press Contact: Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 212.453.7538, Twitter: @KapTestNews

New York, NY (July 20, 2017) — Kaplan, the world leader in test prep, is branching beyond its core business of preparing students for high-stakes exams, expanding into academic support to help college students and high school students who are taking college-level courses, such as AP® courses, succeed in the areas they consider to be the most challenging: science and math. The new services, which are available online, including on mobile devices, offer students help from Kaplan’s expert teachers right when and how they need it, whether it’s working on challenging homework problems or preparing for exams.

Kaplan’s expansion into the academic help space is a natural move for the company, which has 50 years experience in preparing students for the GMAT® and GRE®, which test students’ quantitative skills, and the MCAT®, which has a major focus on basic sciences.

This fall Kaplan will offer academic help in four subjects: three science options—ChemHelp (General Chemistry), OrgoHelp (Organic Chemistry), and PhysicsHelp—available to all students and colleges and universities seeking to provide supplemental programs; and AlgebraHelp, which is designed for colleges and universities to use as a supplemental program in developmental courses.

The programs’ live, online “office hours” approach allows students to get help from a Kaplan STEM teacher and learn from their peers in real-time. This convenient format lets students attend office hours from anywhere with an Internet connection. Teachers will also be available outside of office hours via live chat and email. Short instructional video clips and practice questions allow students to get practice in areas where they are most in need at any hour of the day.  

Kaplan AlgebraHelp is an innovative new way for universities to provide supplemental instructional support to help their hardest-to-reach students succeed. The American Association of Community Colleges recently bestowed AlgebraHelp with its AACC Annual Convention Innovations Award, applauding its application of live online and tutoring expertise that Kaplan has developed into the critical area of developmental math.

“AlgebraHelp was created with the idea of helping algebra students, some of whom have not taken a math class in several years, improve their skills. Helping first year college students succeed here may increase universities’ freshman retention rates, an important indicator of a school’s academic success and a metric that factors into a school’s rankings,” said Brandon Jones, vice president, Kaplan Test Prep. “We have a team of dozens of experienced academics and learning scientists working on these courses to ensure maximum results for our students and partner schools. We’re excited to complement the work of college faculty by providing live help to students as they work through problem sets and prepare for exams. Our math, chemistry, and physics experts can help students in real-time during out-of-class hours.  In addition, targeted video clips and practice questions help students hone in on their weak areas.”

In a Kaplan survey which asked over 200 undergraduate college students which courses they found to be the most challenging*, Math and Chemistry received the most responses, with 28 percent and 23 percent, respectively. Biology came in at 14 percent; Physics at 12 percent; Humanities at 10 percent; Social Sciences at 8 percent; and “others” at 5 percent.

“Grades in science and math courses, often taken early in college, can have long-term implications for students who want to attend medical school or want a career in health sciences. Performing poorly in these areas, especially in the first or second year, can hurt students’ cumulative GPAs, set them behind, and even discourage them from their chosen career paths and with the United States suffering from a major doctor shortage, we cannot afford that,” added Jones.

According to a recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in STEM fields grew by 10.5 percent, or 817,260 jobs, between 2009 and May, compared to just 5.2 percent net growth in non-STEM areas. The same report finds that  national average salary for all STEM occupations was $87,570, nearly double the national average salary for non-STEM occupations, at $45,700.

For more information about Kaplan’s new offerings in the academic support space, contact Russell Schaffer at 212.453.7538 or russell.schaffer@kaplan.com.

*Kaplan surveyed 209 undergraduate students via email in April 2016.

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About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep (www.kaptest.com) is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of online offerings as well as a complete array of print books and digital products, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 100 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

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