Examity Receives $90 Million to Support Testing Security
By Cait Etherington
May 08, 2019
Last week, Examity announced a success $90 million fundraising round, with Boston’s Great Hill Partners leading the way. Examity hopes the money will drive its expansion and new research investigating how machine learning with the support of biometrics can add more security to the proctoring of virtual tests. The timing couldn’t be more apt. Examity’s announcement comes just as test-taking security concerns are dominating the headlines.
Examity is a leader in exam security. Specifically, Examity partners with postsecondary institutions and in some cases, large employers and certification providers to offer secure testing experiences. Examity’s services include both live proctoring and online proctoring services.
To ensure test taking is secure, even when carried out online, Examity relies multiple technologies, including biometric security features–for example, features that track a testers’ keystrokes and mobile devices that verify fingerprint and voice signatures.
Over the coming year, Examity anticipates supporting the delivery of approximately 2 million exams at postsecondary institutions across the United States. Examity’s services have also been adopted by several companies, including Amazon, to help deliver training and certification programs.
Growing Concerns About Testing May Be Good News for Online Proctors
Since the beginning of 2019, college admission scams have been making headlines nationwide. First, the year started off with a growing number of articles about people benefiting from alumni preference at Ivy league schools, but by March, another scandal had emerged.
As it turns out, some wealthy parents have been paying a testing expert, Mark Riddell, to alter their children’s ACT and SAT exams. According to a recent post in the New York Times, Riddell was so good at doing this, he was earning up to $200,000 for the intervention. To make matters worse, some of the offenses had take place in College Board testing centers.
Students who have a disability, including any learning disabilities, are generally given additional time on the SAT to help level the playing field. In the past, they were also able to request access to a testing center of their choice. Other students must write the SAT in their school or at a nearby testing center. Riddell use this accommodation to funnel his wealthy clients’ children t testing centers where he could later enter and alter their answers.
Peter Schwartz, who serves as chief risk officer and general counsel at the College Board, which administers the SAT, recently told the New York Times that the admissions scandal essentially took advantage of the College Board’s efforts to create a fair playing field for students with disabilities. The College Board is currently addressing the problem.
While the current college admissions testing scandal may be bad news for most students and parents, for Examity, the scandal may have a silver lining.
Founder and chief executive of Examity, Michael London, is evidently thinking deeply about the current college admissions cheating scandals. In a press release issued on April 30, London said, “As college cheating scandals continue to make headlines, institutions are turning to technology.” This is precisely why London is so excited about his company’s current influx of new funding. As he noted, Examity’s most recent investment will enable the company to rapidly scale their testing technologies for universities, as well as employers and certification providers.
Chris Busby, a partner at Great Hill, is also optimistic about Great Hill’s new investment. With online learning becomes ubiquitous on campus and in the workplace, there is a growing need to develop secure testing opportunities. “We are excited to be backing the leader in this category,” says Busby.
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash.