Use Education To Grow Your Career

March 30, 2015

class Compete goalsHow Hiking Helped Create Gamification of Learning Game


One of my passions has been the outdoors. I have always enjoyed being outside and often walked and hiked locally for pleasure. A few years ago I wanted to test myself on higher mountains, however, I had some anxiety about mountaineering. To overcome this, I enlisted the experts at Alpine Ascents to guide me through this process. Through the use of videos, tutorials, books, mentors and practice I slowly learned how to accomplish my goals. With the skills I have learned in the last years, I have summited various peaks in the US, Mt. Kilimanjaro and recently been to Mt. Everest. Through the use of a guide service that helped train me, I reduced my anxiety and learned methods needed to measure and manage my hiking goals and create successful outcomes.

As I reflected upon my business and servicing the education market in particular, it struck me that students often face the same challenges in their education process. They are led by teachers through a variety of lessons to ultimately take a test. In speaking with some students, I had forgotten how much anxiety is created in the preparation for exams and standardized testing.

It was in this moment I realized the parallel between my hiking goals and student goals and how similar they were. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see if I could parallel my experiences to help them? During the course of the last year, I created a plan to figure it out from the student perspective.

1. What is THEIR passion?

After extensive research, reading of publications and speaking with students, I found that casual gamification consumed almost 1 hour a day for both girls and boys. This clearly was something students liked and pursued in school and out of school.

2. Could THEIR PASSION improve student performance?

In much the same way I leaned and prepared for my mountain climbing, I thought it would be interesting if students could learn the skills of time, pressure and anxiety management through the use of gamification for learning all while getting better at test taking and improve their test scores. The result from a learning game were quite remarkable and successful.

Gamification in Education

The application of my personal hobby converting itself to a new business and enhancing my career truly makes me feel fulfilled and proud.  What was even more amazing in this process was that we used the same logic and worked with student’s passions to help THEM overcome THEIR hurdles. This parallel is something I am very excited about and look forward to continuing as we progress and evolve.

Rahul Mahna is the founder and CEO of Class Compete, a video game platform that helps relieve student’s test anxiety by teaching time, pressure and anxiety management skills in the hope of improving grades. Rahul has over 14 years of experience leading education technology-focused companies and has dedicated his career to helping teachers and students succeed.

Prior to Class Compete, he’s been a partner in three other educational learning startups. He is credited for rapidly scaling and leading each company through a successful exit. Beyond his primary business, he also serves on several boards as a business advisor on education technology services for private companies and school districts.

He holds degrees from Lehigh University, Columbia University and Northwestern University- Kellogg School of Management and is fluent in three languages. An outdoorsman at heart, he enjoys fishing and hiking having recently climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and base camp Mt Everest. His passion is sharing ideas for technology in the classroom and education teaching strategies using educational games.