Transcender, SelfTest Software, and Kaplan IT Training: What’s in a Name?

April 24, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Posted in Kaplan IT Training news | Leave a comment
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What’s in a name? That which we call a rose,
By any other name would smell as sweet…

You may have noticed the changes afoot on our new website, but as the immortal words of Shakespeare suggest, despite our new appearance, we are still your friendly neighborhood test preparation provider.

We have a new name—Kaplan IT Training—but to clarify, this was merely a name change and not an acquisition. While we’ve officially (and finally) rebranded to the Kaplan name, we’ve actually been a part of Kaplan for over fifteen years, and the same in-house content experts have been developing our products for more than a decade.

In short, the new logo is nothing to worry about. What has changed for the better is our website, test engine, and customer experience (as we’ll explain in a future post).

Early beginnings: SelfTest Software and Transcender

The team now known as Kaplan IT Training began over 25 years ago as two separate companies: SelfTest Software and Transcender. In 1992, SelfTest Software (STS, informally known as Big Red Self Test) launched a completely new product for the digital age: practice test content presented in an engine that emulated the live exam experience. STS focused on exams for Oracle, IBM, and Novell (remember them?).

Shortly thereafter, a company called Transcender also jumped on the test prep bandwagon. Their flagship products were for a new certification program named the Microsoft Certified Professional program (remember when it was small, intimate group of candidates?), first released in 1993.

Old STS Logo

STS Logo Circa 1996

Old Transcender Logo

Transcender Dude
Circa 1997

The Kaplan acquisition, 1999-2003

From the time Stanley Kaplan founded Kaplan Test Prep, the company’s mission was to help students pass standardized tests in a then-novel way: by teaching exam strategies that showed how questions would be asked as much by tutoring the content.

Realizing that IT certifications complemented their line of test preparation products, which were then geared towards the SAT and CFA certifications, Kaplan purchased SelfTest Software in 1999 and rebranded it as Kaplan SelfTest. They later expanded the product line when Kaplan SelfTest bought Transcender in 2003. Continue Reading Transcender, SelfTest Software, and Kaplan IT Training: What’s in a Name?…


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