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How Pocket Prep Is Making Education More Accessible

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Below is our recent interview with Peter Murphy, CEO and Co-Founder of Pocket Prep, a mobile test prep company that is helping people pass their career-defining certification exams the first time.

Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Pocket Prep?

Peter: Yes! We are a mobile test prep company that provides effective, convenient and engaging test prep for over 100 different career certifications. We’ve been making mobile apps and study material for a decade now. We understand how stressful it can be to prepare for a big exam, so we’re here to make that process easier and more enjoyable.

Q: You’ve recently announced the launch of your inaugural scholarship program, the Pocket Prep Racial Equity Scholarship Fund; what was the impetus behind this?

Peter: We were deeply inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement earlier this year. It’s a movement that many of us have been following and supporting for years. We had just come off of a large product launch and we realized we now could jump-start a philanthropic program.

We launched the Pocket Prep Racial Equity Scholarship Fund in November. It’s a program that will pay for all the fees associated with sitting for a certification exam, plus a flat $1,500, for five Black individuals pursuing professional certification within the industries we offer prep for. The deadline to apply is January 31, 2021, and interested applicants can learn more and apply here.

It was an easy decision for us to make because making education more accessible to everyone is at the core of what we do every day. While we had never done something like this before, we knew it was something we needed to do as individuals, and a company as a whole, to make a long-term commitment to helping others that just need a little more support in their education journey.

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Q: In what ways are you making education more accessible?

Peter: Anyone who has gone through the process of getting a career-defining certification knows how challenging, overwhelming and downright expensive the process can be. Not only do you have to pay to sit for the exam, but the cost of study materials can sometimes be more than the exam itself!

After shelling out all this time and money, the prospect of potentially not passing the exam is a fear that can keep anyone awake at night. That’s where we come in. Our study prep is designed to help those who are studying know exactly how they’re performing and where they need to focus, ensuring they pass their exam on the first attempt. One of the biggest fears people have in sitting for an exam is confidence in their preparation. Did they study enough? Did they even study the right things? What if they wasted all that time and money just to fail?

We make education more accessible with truly effective study material, material that helps people pass their exam the first time. The material is created by us, from scratch, and built alongside industry experts who know all about these exams. The material is based on each exam’s unique blueprint that is provided by the accredited organization that fields the official exam. Our study prep provides detailed answer explanations that include textbook references for each and every question, providing the much-needed context and reasoning behind why things are wrong or right.

The mobile app nature of this study material also helps to make it more accessible. Our users aren’t tied to their desks or laptops in order to study. (Although we do have a web version for those who prefer it) Mobile users can study during their commute, while waiting in line, or on a lunch break. Studying in short spurts – even if it’s only 5-15 minutes at a time – has shown time and time again to be effective for long-term memorization.

What also sets us apart is the data tracking that we provide our users. They can see their average quizzing scores, re-visit questions they got wrong, build their own custom quizzes, and much more.

Many of our competitors stick to a rigid ‘question-answer-explanation’ format that limits the ability to interact with your own data to see if you’re actually understanding and memorizing information. Being able to track your improvement and see how you’re progressing through data is a huge confidence booster. Not only is it a great motivator, but it also helps people learn more about their own study habits and process, in turn, encouraging a more effective and meaningful study regimen.

Q: What can we expect from Pocket Prep in the next 6 months?

Peter: We have a busy 2021 ahead of us. We’ll be reviewing all the scholarship applicants over the next couple of months and we are very excited to get to know our chosen recipients. We also are working on a large Android launch for Q1. This year, our new app launch went out to all our iOS users, so right now we are working on launching the same app experience for our Android users.

We also have a big product launch coming for instructors and teachers. We have created an insights tool that instructors can use to see how their students are performing when they’re studying with our prep. This is something the instructors who have worked with us over the years have asked for, and we’re finally on the cusp of launching it publicly. We’ll also be making some updates and additions to the web version of our study prep. Anyone who uses our mobile app to study can log into their account online and practice with the same material, just on a bigger screen.

We’re always updating the study content for our existing exams, which keeps us busy. Still, we also plan to expand the total selection of exams we offer study material for next year.

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Q: What’s one thing you think people get wrong about education?

Peter: I think a lot of people don’t realize that there’s a science to learning. Learning isn’t something that you can necessarily jump in or out of. It’s something that is happening to us constantly, whether we realize it or not. And the more we educate ourselves about that science, and how learning happens, the more we can use those insights to our advantage and become better learners.

Educational institutions today are largely focused on the memorization of information. There’s a big difference between memorizing something and learning it. When you memorize something, it sticks with you for days, maybe weeks at a time. When you learn something, it can stay with you for a lifetime. I’ve always considered myself a lifelong learner. Over the years, I’ve observed that the more I come to understand about learning, the easier learning becomes.

At Pocket Prep we help people learn more about their study process, and in turn, they become better studyers and learners.

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