Samantha Whitehorne is editorial director of Associations Now in Washington, DC.
Cloud-based exam prep provides a new resource, as well as a source of revenue, for a credentialing group.
It should come as no surprise that ABRET Neurodiagnostic Credentialing and Accreditation generates the bulk of its revenue from testing fees and test-preparation services for the six exams it administers for neurodiagnostic technologists and laboratories. And the good news for the nonprofit is that these services, particularly its practice exams, have always been in high demand.
But, in 2015, ABRET decided to take a closer look at that service, which it was offering through an outside provider. ABRET Director of Operations Daniel Walbert says the analysis revealed two things.
“One is that people were definitely participating, which was great news,” he says. “But the second part was not so great: We were only receiving about 27 percent of what we were charging. The rest went to service fees and to our testing provider.”
Recognizing an opportunity to boost ABRET’s bottom line and better serve test candidates, Walbert began looking for other options.
He soon stumbled upon Test Run, a cloud-based exam prep service. What sealed the deal for Walbert was that the service had no startup cost for ABRET, it would allow the organization to keep 80 percent of what it charged candidates, and it would better serve test candidates.
“That was a win for us, and that last part is a win for all of our potential test takers,” he says.
In April 2016, ABRET launched its new practice exam platform, ASAP (ABRET Self-Assessment Program). For $69.99 for one month or $154.97 for three months, candidates receive unlimited access to practice exams, resources, and instant, detailed results. A candidate dashboard identifies strengths and weaknesses and allows them to key in on areas requiring additional study.
“The dashboard is really what sets our exam prep service apart and why I think it’s been so successful,” Walbert says.
In the two years since ABRET launched ASAP, the organization has seen a 358 percent jump in subscribers. And, in 2017, revenue generated by the exam prep service increased by more than 5,000 percent.
“That’s a lot of money, which is great for us, of course,” says Walbert. “But, more importantly, it shows that we’ve filled a need for our exam takers and really given them something they can’t live without.” ABRET has seen a 358% jump in subscribers after just two years.
[This article was originally published in the Associations Now print edition, titled "New Money: Cram Session."]