How Can QS LEAP Help Your Test Prep?

How Can QS LEAP Help Your Test Prep?

Back in 2015, QS recognized an opportunity to provide free online test prep, which is guided, adaptive and collaborative, rather than the traditionally isolated, personal learning that other test prep products provide.

Offering access to GMAT experts, as well as allowing you to measure your progress in real-time against that of other candidates all over the world, QS LEAP was created to give aspiring candidates access to truly-effective test preparation. And most importantly, it’s totally free.

To find out more about how QS LEAP came about, the success it has enjoyed, and what to expect from the product in the future, we spoke to head of product, Soumik Ganguly.


Let’s start at the beginning. Why was QS LEAP created?

Soumik GangulyQS LEAP was launched as the world’s first free and social test prep platform on the 1st of June 2015 after over three years of research and development.

Studies show a direct correlation between the economic status of individuals and their test scores. Mediating this relationship is the entire framework of premium test preparation. Thousands of deserving candidates are left behind because they can’t afford the costs associated with these courses.

QS LEAP was created to remove this privilege-related bias. Our goal was to allow anyone who has access to the internet to be able to access high-quality test prep, through one of the most-advanced platforms in the world; advanced by virtue of its learning frameworks, learner adaptivity, and social benchmarking, as well as offering classes and thousands of free questions.

LEAP has been designed to help aspiring students planning to apply for undergrad, postgrad, and MBA programs at universities across the world that ask for GMAT, GRE, SAT and LSAT test scores. It allows prospective students to study at their own pace and ability, and guides them through an evolving, adaptive study schedule, to control the outcomes of the test prep.


How has QS LEAP developed since its launch?

In the past three years, we have seen more than five million questions answered by users. This has enabled us to learn how students improve between sections, and what paths they take to reach these improvements.

We then use this data to deliver a combination of learning frameworks – interleaving (dividing tasks in a way that aids recall), spaced repetition, and retrieval practice (testing with feedback) – which sits on top of user-generated learning data. This means we can make the entire platform adaptive to the learner and learning style, a first when compared to other platforms, introducing recommended videos and notes at places where the user deviates from expected learning trajectory.

Along with personal prep, QS LEAP also has synchronous prep in the form of free classes, delivered by excellent tutors. We keep a track of how these candidates progress, to measure learning effectiveness.

Since the test-prep journey is a prelude to the application journey, over time we have included tools into the QS LEAP ecosystem to help candidates with school selection, admissions counselling, and application building. Innovative solutions such as the ‘application portfolio’ allow candidates to measure their profile against others who are interested in applying to the same program, view their match percentage, and monitor their own progress. This allows for better application choices.


How does it specifically help prospective MBA students?

We have optimized the entire GMAT preparation journey to enable candidates with different developmental needs get everything in one place. We have verbal, quantitative, and critical reasoning tutors available for continuous free classes, in conjunction with over 2000 questions across the various sections of the test.

Along with the GMAT prep, QS LEAP also provide CAT assistance, which caters to the domestic Indian MBA market. The CAT is taken by around 200,000 candidates in India; we provide an extensive study schedule for them.

We understand that the MBA application journey can be expensive, so to minimize the risks of bad decisions, we have introduced tools such as ‘virtual meetings’ and the aforementioned application portfolio. Virtual meetings are designed to deliver free one-to-one meetings with admissions team members, through an on-demand system. These meetings allow candidates the freedom to connect with the teams, as and when it is needed. It is free for both parties.


Tell us a bit about the awards QS LEAP has won recently

We have received two major awards this year. The EdTechReview award for ‘Best Online Test Prep Platform of the Year’ was a recognition of our learning framework and outcomes. The second one – ‘Best Education Webinar Series’ – was awarded at the Indian Education Awards, in recognition of the ‘Socratic-dialogue’ free classes we have been running. These classes are part of the retrieval practice framework.

These awards motivate us to stay obsessively focussed in creating value for candidates, through better learning experiences and outcomes. We are currently working on integrating artificial intelligence to deliver content to candidates. We’re also looking to become device and interface agnostic. So, people could actually carry on with their test prep over any chat system that they may be using, able to come back to the web application to attend synchronous free classes and webinars at their own convenience.


What else do you have planned for QS LEAP?

We are extending the value of this platform through a life-long learning journey. We are aware that no one has (yet) solved the challenge of a skills development curriculum, backed with a study schedule. We are in the final stages of developing what might be the world’s largest skills development platform. This platform promises to help candidates set goals, receive assessment, and create a competency and skill-level ‘playlist’ for each candidate. It will deliver a study schedule, linking content from some of the largest micro-courses platforms in the world. The platform then further unlocks jobs for these candidates, which we believe will provide better outcomes than platforms like LinkedIn right now. This is because these jobs would be linked to the candidate’s competency levels playlist, not what they have decided to add in their profile themselves.

We are excited and deeply committed to offering immense value to candidates from across the world in their journey to achieve their full potential. We want to help them challenge biases, open bottlenecks, and overcome anything keeping them apart from the careers and lifestyles they deserve.

As an educator and a tech evangelist, this is what I get excited about every day. My team feels the same way.

Written by Phil Cottrell

Phil is the editor of and has a breadth of editorial and digital marketing experience. He has worked across a variety of industries from e-commerce and commercial real estate to managing all content for a C-suite careers site aimed at UK and US professionals.

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