Online learning platform UWorld helps more than 400,000 students a year prepare for high-stakes exams that can determine their academic and professional future. Founder and CEO Chandra Pemmasani, M.D., created the company when the preparation materials for his United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) didn’t satisfy his hunger for active learning. Founded in Pemmasani’s dorm room, UWorld has been growing ever since, and has provided materials to more than two million students and professionals around the world to prepare for exams like the MCAT®, CPA, CFA, NCLEX®, CPJE, SAT®, and ACT®. In a time when equity gaps are widening and some are doubting the usefulness of standardized testing, Dr. Pemmasani discusses how preparing for a high-stakes exam can not only help students get into their dream college, but can be a valuable educational experience on its own.
Edvocate: Let’s talk about financial equity first. What sort of pricing do you offer families or schools facing today’s enormous financial challenges?
Pemmasani: As a student, I borrowed thousands of dollars to buy exam preparation materials that didn’t work very well, and I don’t want anyone to feel that same frustration. Everything we do at UWorld is focused on helping all students reach their target scores, get their dream education, and find a career where they can find joy and earn a comfortable living. For SAT and ACT prep, our individual student packages start at $29. We also offer bulk pricing on our suite of college readiness solutions to everyone from individual tutors to school districts.
Edvocate: Another equity issue that became abundantly clear this spring is the connectivity gap. How do you help students who might not have access to the technology they need to find and use your materials?
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