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TOEFL YSS Product Study

Expanding Access to TOEFL Primary & Junior Assessments

Value Proposition

Level Up TOEFL unlocks a brighter future for students by making world-class early English learning accessible.
We partner with qualified local tutors and institutions to deliver personalized TOEFL prep through an integrated digital platform. Students gain continuous access to expert instructors, interactive lessons, and internationally recognized assessments.
We strive to make quality English education accessible, measurable, and globally recognized, setting students on the path to lifelong learning and success.


Target Market

This study aims to identify global opportunities for improving English literacy among young EFL students, with a focus on expanding access to the TOEFL Young Student Series (YSS). We have selected the Punjab region of Pakistan as a model market representing wider needs.

Persona of Learner

10-year-old child from an upper middle class family in Sialkot, a city in the province of Punjab, Pakistan.
Punjabi is her primary language which she speaks at home while Urdu is secondary.
Her exposure to English is largely limited to television and online media.
Academic achievement is a priority for her as she demonstrates the motivation, focus, and discipline to pursue excellence.
Her family has the resources and motivation to send her abroad for higher education.
She attends a private school where English instruction and testing does not meet international standards.
Her parents monitor her academic achievements and invest in improving her performance.
She has not taken any standardized tests for English language proficiency since this is largely administered through IELTS, which is unavailable for candidates under 16 years of age.

Problem Statement

Primary school students in the Punjab province of Pakistan lack access to early English language learning opportunities due to low parental awareness, late investment in English proficiency, and a fragmented market of qualified English instructors.

Breakdown of Problem

Low awareness and participation in early English proficiency programs like TOEFL YSS among primary school students in Punjab.
Parents invest too late in English education, overlooking early advantages.
Fragmented and inadequate access to qualified English instructors, especially in public education.

Validate with Data

Conduct research and identify KPIs to qualify and articulate the pain
Enrollment rates for TOEFL YSS and other tests over the years
Age distribution of students enrolled in English proficiency tests
Timing and spend on English language learning, comparing early vs late investment
Fragmentation and availability of English instructors, via market research on tutor networks, platforms, and unmet demand
Academic studies on language acquisition
Unemployment or underemployment rates among qualified English teachers


Providing a verified and engaging English learning and assessment platform aimed at primary and junior levels will increase early investment by parents, and better utilize the existing pool of English instructors.

Conduct Stakeholder Interviews

Testable assumptions
Demand for early English education: There exists a demographic of parents who have a strong desire to improve their children's English language skills starting at a primary level for future study abroad opportunities.
Lack of quality resources: There is an actual lack of quality English education resources for primary and secondary levels in Punjab, as perceived by both parents and educators.
Willingness to pay: The target market is willing to pay for quality English education for their kids, with a focus on TOEFL YSS (Primary and Junior).
Instructor availability: There are enough qualified English tutors in the region who are underutilized and would be willing to join the platform to offer their services.
Institutional collaboration: Educational institutions are willing to partner with a platform that streamlines English education and assessment.
Parental engagement: Parents will actively use the platform to track their children’s progress and will value the analytics and feedback provided.
ETS alignment: The platform’s offerings (certification, training modules, test registration, etc.) align well with ETS’s broader organizational goals and quality standards.
Scalability: Findings in Punjab can be replicated in other similar markets.
Revenue sharing: A revenue sharing model between instructors and ETS is sustainable and attractive for all parties involved.

Sample Questions

What are your top priorities and concerns when it comes to your child's education at this age?
How important is developing English proficiency for your child's future opportunities? Why?
What challenges have you faced in trying to improve your child's English skills? Can you recall the last time you felt you were not doing enough or could not find the right resources for your child's English education?
Have you tried any particular programs, tutoring services, or educational apps to improve your child's English skills? How do you evaluate and select English language instructors or programs for your child? At what age did you focus on any of these solutions?
What frustrations or difficulties have you experienced with English language instruction your child has received?
In your view, how much does early English proficiency benefit students' long-term success? Why?
What are the biggest challenges you face in teaching English to younger students?
What are the biggest challenges your English program faces? What constraints make teaching English difficult? Describe a recent instance where you felt the system or methods at your disposal were inadequate for teaching English effectively.
How engaged and aware of the benefits of early English learning are students' parents? How could this be improved?
Have you ever tried to create or recommend supplementary English educational programs or assessments? Which ones?
What do you believe is lacking in the existing solutions for early English education?
Are there enough quality English learning materials and programs accessible to students at this age?

Product Solution

Product Vision

For parents, an effective way to improve their children's English literacy, Level Up TOEFL delivers an end-to-end language learning and assessment solution. By bridging the gap between parents, qualified tutors, and institutional educators, we ensure seamless engagement, standardized assessments, and actionable insights, making English education as quantifiable as it is qualitative.

Product Principles

Access: Providing broader access to qualified English instructors and institutions that students/parents may not have locally.
Personalization: Matching students with the right instructors and content personalized to their proficiency levels and goals.
Continuity: Enabling continuous structured learning through the student's journey from beginner to advanced.
Insights: Leveraging data and analytics to provide visibility into student progress and drive program improvements.

Key Features & Benefits

Customized learning paths: After an initial assessment, the platform creates a customized and adaptive learning plan for each student.
Benefit: Personalizes learning to student's level and goals for better outcomes.
Integrated payment processing: Parents can seamlessly pay and track expenses for tutor subscriptions, test registration, and other platform fees.
Benefit: Provides transparency and simplicity for managing payments.
Interactive dashboard for parents: A user-friendly interface where parents can track their children's trajectory, see upcoming tests, view earned badges, and easily manage payments.
Benefit: Enables parents to engage and participate in their child's learning.
Certification and training for tutors: The platform offers a certification program that tutors must complete in order to teach.
Benefit: Ensures tutor quality and standards for effective instruction.
Institutional oversight: For schools and English-language training centers, the platform provides management tools to monitor the performance of their teachers, control curricula, and track the progress of batches of students.
Benefit: Allows institutions to take ownership of learning outcomes.

User Journeys

Stage 1: Awareness & Onboarding
Parents & Children: Discover the platform ("Level Up TOEFL") through social media, referrals, or educational consultants. Register and complete a placement assessment for the child.
Institutional Educators: Informed by ETS or regional partners about the platform. They register their institution and invite educators (including tutors) to join.
Qualified Tutors: Come across the platform through a job board or referral from a registered institution. They apply, verify their qualifications, and join after approval.
ETS Administrators: Oversee the initial setup and roll-out of the platform, as well as the approval process for institutions and tutors.
Stage 2: Matchmaking & Scheduling
Parents & Children: Browse through a list of affiliated institutions and qualified tutors. Select one based on ratings, availability, and specialization.
Institutional Educators: Receive notifications of interested parents. Confirm scheduling based on tutor availability.
Qualified Tutors: Receive notifications of new assignments and timetable.
ETS Administrators: Monitor the matchmaking process via analytics dashboard, ensuring quality and reliability.
Stage 3: Learning & Engagement
Parents & Children: Engage in scheduled lessons via the platform's interactive interface. Access resources, progress dashboards, and earn badges.
Institutional Educators: Provide teaching materials, quizzes, and engage in periodic assessments.
Qualified Tutors: Conduct classes, assign homework, and update progress on the platform.
ETS Administrators: Generate data-driven reports to assess engagement levels and educational outcomes.
Stage 4: Assessment & Feedback
Parents & Children: Complete periodic TOEFL YSS assessments through the platform. Receive feedback and reports.
Institutional Educators: Review student assessments and adjust educational strategies as needed.
Qualified Tutors: Provide personalized feedback to students based on assessments.
ETS Administrators: Analyze aggregated assessment data for quality control and program improvements.
Stage 5: Continuity & Growth
Parents & Children: Decide to continue with the same tutor/institution or explore others based on performance and feedback.
Institutional Educators: Assess the effectiveness of their programs and make data-informed adjustments.
Qualified Tutors: Gain more visibility and opportunities as they accumulate positive reviews and outcomes.
ETS Administrators: Use data analytics for long-term planning, including potential market expansion and feature updates.

Business Model

The platform generates revenue primarily through annual student subscriptions for access to certified tutors and discounted TOEFL test prep materials and exam fees.

Assumptions and Pricing

Revenue per student (annual subscription): $175 (percentage split with tutor)
Additional test fees: $70 per test (each child may take 1-5 tests during their school years)
LTV per child: $1,500
Student-to-tutor ratio: 20:1
Institutional license fee: TBD (For private schools and English language training institutions to access the platform)

Revenue Projections

Year 1 (Pilot) Revenue: $113,750
Students: 500
Tutors: 25
Institutions: 5
Net Revenue: $113,750
Student Subscription Revenue: $87,500
Tutor Revenue Split (50%): $43,750
Test Revenue (500 * 2 * $70): $70,000
Year 2 Revenue: $3,500,000
Students: 25,000
Tutors: 1,250
Institutions: 50
Net Revenue: $3,550,000
Student Subscription Revenue: $4,375,000
Tutor Revenue Split (50%): $2,187,500
Test Revenue (25,000 * 2 * $70): $3,500,000
Year 3 Revenue: $20,000,000
Students: 80,000
Tutors: 4,000
Institutions: 100
Net Revenue: $20,000,000
Student Subscription Revenue: $14,000,000
Tutor Revenue Split (50%): $7,000,000
Test Revenue (500 * 2 * $70): $11,200,000

Performance Metrics

Student engagement and tutor performance metrics act as leading indicators of long-term profitability, enabling real-time fine-tuning. Revenue, growth, and satisfaction KPIs balance scalability with quality, informing necessary adjustments for sustained impact. Together, these metrics create a virtuous cycle where quality education and business success are mutually reinforcing.
Student engagement
Student retention rate
Target: >85% annually
Range: 80-90%
Average time spent on the platform
Target: >1 hour per week
Range: 0.5-2.0 hours per week
Completion rate of modules/tests
Target: >75%
Range: 70-80%
Tutor performance
Tutor retention rate
Target: >90%
Range: 85-95%
Student reviews & ratings of tutors
Target: Average rating of 4.5+ out of 5
Range: 4-5
Tutor response time
Target: <12 hours
Range: 1-14 hours
Monthly recurring revenue (MRR)
Target: $1.5 million by Year 3
Range: $1.3-1.7 million
Customer lifetime value (LTV)
Target: $1500
Range: $1300-1700
Customer acquisition cost (CAC)
Target: <$200
Range: $150-250
New students per month
Target: 2000 students
Range: 1800-2200
New tutors per month
Target: 100 tutors
Range: 90-110
Platform licenses for institutions
Target: 10 new institutions per quarter
Range: 8-12
Parent and educator satisfaction
Net promoter score (NPS)
Target: >50
Range: 45-55
Customer support resolution time
Target: <24 hours
Range: 4-28 hours
Monthly active users (MAU) among parents and educators
Target: 1000 MAU
Range: 900-1100

North Star Metric

Qualified tutor growth
Target: 30% Year-over-Year Growth
Target: 1000 tutors by Year 3

Go to Market

By combining an evidence-based pilot phase with strong partner integration and a robust content and marketing strategy, this go-to-market and growth plan aims to validate, optimize, and scale the platform for long-term success.

GTM Strategy

Pilot testing: Conduct pilot tests in Punjab, Pakistan, with a small set of qualified tutors and students to validate the business model, test key assumptions, and gather initial data.
Expected within 3-6 months.
Partner integration: Leverage existing ETS institutional partnerships and TOEFL ambassadors to generate initial demand and establish credibility.
Complete within the first year.
Content and partnership strategy: Utilize a multi-channel approach, focusing on content that educates the market about the benefits of early English education and assessments. Partner with digital agencies to maximize reach and effectiveness.
Roll out within 6 months of pilot phase completion.

Primary Tactics

Partner engagement
Identify 5-10 current ETS partners to pilot the platform with
Offer discounted access and incentives for providing feedback
Gather data on engagement, messaging resonance, pain points
TOEFL Ambassador outreach
Activate ambassadors on social media to organically promote the platform
Provide approved content and assets to share
Track reach and engagement for ambassadors
Content production
Produce video testimonials on the benefits of early English learning
Develop assessments and quizzes for parents to evaluate needs
Create social media content highlighting opportunities in learning English
Digital promotion
Run paid search and social campaigns focused on key messages
Promote content through TOEFL digital channels
Test conversion rates from ads to platform sign-ups


The team’s mission is to revolutionize English language education and assessment for young learners. Their goal is to build an agile, scalable, and user-friendly platform that engages multiple stakeholders—parents, educators, tutors, and administrative bodies—in a seamless ecosystem.


Research and planning: Conduct discovery research, map user journeys, and confirm feasibility and viability of solution. Create staffing plan, budget, and roadmap aligned with priorities.
Stakeholder alignment: Consult with all key stakeholders, including ETS administrators, educators, and parents, to understand their specific needs and expectations from the platform.
Technical assessment: Conduct an audit of the required technology stack, including front-end and back-end languages, databases, and cloud services.
Design sprints: Envision solution with low-fidelity wireframes transitioning to high-fidelity prototypes. Finalize the UI/UX designs, incorporating brand identity, and intuitive user interface.
Feature prioritization: Generate a detailed list of user stories or “jobs to be done”, including 'must-haves' and 'nice-to-haves', that the platform should provide, separating them into different product phases for incremental roll-out.
Development sprints: Utilize agile methodology to break down the feature list into manageable development sprints, complete with deadlines and deliverables.
Compliance checks: Continuously ensure that the platform is in alignment with educational standards, data privacy laws, and other regulatory requirements.
Quality assurance: After each sprint, carry out a thorough round of quality assurance checks to ensure the new features work as expected and are free of critical bugs.
Enable support: Partner with customer success to implement self-service resources and develop support training.
User testing: Conduct user acceptance tests involving a select group of parents, educators, and ETS administrators to gather real-world feedback.
Market prepping: As the platform nears readiness, initiate GTM strategies designed to build anticipation and awareness.
Soft launch: Roll out an MVP of the platform in a controlled pilot environment, gathering further feedback for last-minute adjustments.
Scale: After fine-tuning the platform based on soft launch feedback, proceed to a full-scale release and localizations, backed by a robust customer support and maintenance strategy.

Risk & Change Management

Risk Identification
Regularly evaluate potential risks related to technology, market dynamics, and stakeholder commitment.
Mitigation Planning
Develop contingency plans for each identified risk, including fallback and recovery strategies.
Change Control
Establish a change control board to review, approve, or reject changes to project scope, resources, or timelines.
Monitoring and Reporting
Implement Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and reporting mechanisms to monitor progress and performance continuously.
Feedback Loop
Create channels for constant feedback from users, stakeholders, and team members to make data-driven adjustments to the platform and strategy.

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