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F. API Solution Analysis


ETS is launching an API platform that will allow education apps, test prep providers, and schools to integrate ETS's trusted English language proficiency assessments into their own platforms. This open architecture approach aims to bring ETS's globally recognized standards and research-backed benchmarks to a broader audience of learners and educators.


Fragmented English assessment landscape makes it challenging to benchmark and track proficiency.
Learners lack structured pathways to improve language skills.
Educators need authoritative tools to identify student needs.


Research shows inconsistent language assessment leads to poorer outcomes.
Stakeholders across the education landscape have voiced the need for a unifying benchmark.
Global demand for English mastery is rising, particular for standardized and accessible tools, but methods are suboptimal.
ETS has a unique capability to provide standards-aligned assessment APIs across diverse platforms, democratizing access, reducing costs, and ensuring alignment with international standards.


Democratize access to the gold standard of language assessments for global audiences.
Simplify the incorporation of reliable proficiency metrics into diverse educational platforms.
Foster strategic collaborations with third-party entities, fueling innovation in English language education.
Equip educators, parents, and stakeholders with a definitive framework for measuring learning progress.
Offer learners a clear, structured roadmap for improvement through aligned resources.
Magnify ETS's influence, propelling its mission to wider horizons beyond traditional test-takers.

Key Features

Placement Exams API: Deploy initial diagnostic exams to ascertain learners' English proficiency and recommend placement levels.
Benchmarking API: Seamlessly align proficiency scores with international standards, including CEFR and TOEFL benchmarks.
Adaptive Learning API: Curate a dynamic set of questions that evolve in response to a learner's performance, ensuring an optimized learning journey.
Analytics Dashboard: A comprehensive view into user engagement metrics, proficiency trends, and actionable insights for educators.
Documentation & Support Hub: A reservoir of guides, tutorials, and resources designed to streamline the API integration process.

Customer Segments

Edtech Companies: Infuse adaptive learning platforms with rigorous, validated assessment tools.
Test Prep Providers: Replicate real-world TOEFL testing experiences using authentic assessment items.
Educational Publishers: Enrich learning materials by integrating aligned proficiency questions.
Educational Institutions: Implement universal diagnostic screenings, facilitating consistent progress monitoring across classrooms.
Tutoring Services: Fine-tune instructional strategies by precisely determining student proficiencies.

Success Metric

Increased adoption rates of API across edtech platforms and institutions.
Positive feedback from educators and students on the accuracy and utility of the assessments.
Measurable improvement in learners' English proficiency due to aligned instruction and feedback.
Expansion in the global reach and influence of ETS and the TOEFL brand.

Revenue Model

A flexible, usage-based subscription model that scales according to the volume of assessment interactions.
A risk-free trial period to explore API capabilities, followed by tailored package offerings for diverse needs.


Integrating ETS's standardized assessments through an API that allows other applications and educational platforms to access and utilize its rigorous standards for English proficiency assessment is a strategic idea that can bring various benefits and opportunities.
Accessibility: By opening up ETS's assessment tools to other platforms through an API, it can make these assessments more accessible to a broader audience, while scaling brand exposure
Standardization: Other platforms can align their content and assessments with ETS's recognized standards, enhancing their credibility.
Engagement: Students, parents, and educators receive clearer picture of where they stand and what steps and resources they can take to help them improve.
Monetization: ETS can develop a licensing model that creates a new revenue stream, allowing platforms to integrate ETS's assessments for a fee without overhead of content development
Customization: By providing an API, ETS can allow third-party developers to tailor the integration to their specific needs, encouraging innovation.
Data Insights: This collaboration can provide valuable data on English-language learning trends, which can further fuel ETS's research and development efforts.
Risks and Challenges: Security, privacy, quality control, and maintaining the brand's reputation are aspects that would need careful consideration.

Pros & Cons

Pros (Tailwinds) of the API Approach


Speedy Integration: APIs allow rapid integration with various platforms, enabling immediate benefits for educational entities.
Increased Reach: By partnering with edtech platforms and educational institutions, ETS can access a wider audience without heavy marketing efforts.
Flexibility: APIs can be adapted to fit various partners' needs, allowing for diverse applications in a short timeframe.
New Revenue: Generates scalable licensing income stream with minimal overhead.
Collaborative Innovation: Allows third parties to drive innovation around ETS standards
Cost Efficiency: Without the need for developing standalone platforms or apps, the overheads are reduced, making it more affordable for both ETS and partners.
Immediate Feedback: Engaging with multiple partners provides incremental feedback, enabling iterative improvements.


Established Global Standard: As more platforms adopt the API, ETS's assessments can become the global gold standard for English proficiency measurement.
Continuous Improvement: With data accumulated from various integrations, ETS can refine and expand its offerings over time.
Network Effects: Achieve scale through partnerships and embedded networks
Diversified Revenue Streams: A scalable API model can create varied revenue models, from subscriptions to tiered pricing based on usage.
Demographic Expansion: Flexible delivery opens access to emerging and marginalized markets
Long-lasting Partnerships: Building strong relationships with edtech platforms and educational institutions can lead to other collaborative ventures in the future.
Ecosystem Development: Shared platform fosters alignment of learning tools that further promotes and expands reach and capabilities.

Cons (Headwinds) of the API Approach


Integration Challenges: Every platform has its nuances, potentially leading to integration challenges and requiring custom solutions.
Initial Resistance: Traditional institutions may be hesitant to adopt a new system, leading to slower early adoption.
Resource Intensive: Building a robust, scalable, and secure API can be resource-intensive, especially considering the broad scope of educational applications.
Licensing Complexity: Initiating and establishing legal and pricing consistency for a diversity of economies and providers.
Quality Control: Limited control while ensuring the quality and integrity of tests across multiple platforms can be challenging.
Security and Risk: Need to identify and establish security measures and consistent partner vetting


Dependency on External Platforms: Being deeply integrated with other platforms can make ETS susceptible to changes or decisions made by those platforms.
Commodification. Assessment content becomes commoditized through broad distribution, potentially leading to skewed, test-oriented learning.
Competition: As the market sees the success of ETS's API approach, competitors might develop similar or better offerings, diluting ETS's market share.
Security Concerns: As data volume grows, there may be concerns about data privacy, security, and potential breaches.
Reputation Management: If any partner misuses the API or delivers a subpar experience, it could indirectly tarnish ETS's reputation.
Technology Evolution: Over time, technological standards and demands will evolve. The API needs continuous updates to remain relevant and functional.
Differentiation. As standards are universally adopted, product differentiation is harder to maintain.
In conclusion, while the API approach offers promising advantages in terms of reach, flexibility, and potential standardization, it also brings challenges. Key considerations are maintaining quality control in the near-term while leveraging network effects for maximum global impact long-term. But risks around brand integrity, commoditization and loss of distinctiveness need mitigation plans.
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