IronCEO RapidFire: Matt Sherman, Founder & CEO, LSAT Lab
Education is steeped in old habits that change slowly. Standardized tests like the SAT, ACT, AP exams were still taken with paper and pencils, until the pandemic changed everything.
Throw away your No. 2 lead pencil, protractor, and TI 84 graphing calculator! For two decades, Matt Sherman has been creating a test prep curriculum and teaching thousands of students while waiting for the market to signal that it was ready for a transition.
“The transition is about to happen. LSAT transitioned to digital in 2019 and the SAT and ACT are just about to transition as well to digital. That is going to mean a transformation in how students are asked to prepare. Now that we have a new medium, which is the software we can do things that we were not able to do before in terms of activities and engagement. We can allow the student to dictate the pace of the course instead of force-feeding one curriculum on to all students, we can literally customize the curriculum to each student as they are progressing.”
What about the controversial SAT College entrance exam? I asked Matt if COVID-19 is the beginning of the end exams like the SAT.
“While yes, it’s true. test scores tend to correlate better with your parent’s income than your academic performance. I think that has been a legacy with the way we have been able to provide this education. Basically, it’s for the haves. It’s a very expensive type of education. With software, we can do this for pennies on the dollar. Everybody will be able to afford digital tutors. The solution doesn’t rest in getting rid of these tests, but rather in fixing access to these tests.“
While Matt has been patiently waiting for this opportunity and building up his business, his advice is to move faster.
"The advice I would give myself is to run harder, run faster, get more done. It wasn’t about how much time you put into it, but how fast you move. You had to make progress.”
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