Research Topics

ETS provides assessments and related services to improve teaching and learning, expand opportunities for individual learners and inform education policy and assessment. As a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, we continually seek to improve our assessment capabilities — and to advance the field of educational measurement — through research in a number of areas.

In 2017, ETS refocused its research agenda around some of the most significant, global education challenges facing societies today, such as the need to increase sustainable access to a diverse and high-quality teaching pool, to raise U.S. literacy levels, and to increase the diversity and quality of admissions to higher education. Learn more about our work to address these Big Educational Challenges.

Other research topics include:

Assessing People with Disabilities

We conduct research with the aim of ensuring that tests are fair and valid for individuals with disabilities.

Automated Scoring and Natural Language Processing

We develop technology to improve the scoring of today’s assessments and prepare for the next generation of assessments.

The CBAL® Initiative: Innovation in K–12 Assessment

Through our long-term Cognitively Based Assessment of, for, and as Learning (CBAL®) research initiative, we hope to improve approaches to K–12 accountability assessment.

English Language Learning and Assessment

Learn about our research into the foundations of English language learning and assessment worldwide and in U.S. grades K–12.

Human Capital and Large-Scale Assessment

Our researchers seek to understand how data from large-scale international comparative surveys can be used to meet policy needs around the world.

Policy Research

Our Policy and Evaluation Research Center conducts research and evaluations on public policy-related issues in education.

Reading for Understanding

In collaboration with other institutions, our research teams are working on the assessment strand of the U.S. Department of Education-funded Reading for Understanding Initiative.

Statistics and Psychometrics

This line of research at ETS promotes new and improved psychometric and statistical methods and capabilities through innovation and development of foundational knowledge.

Understanding Teaching Quality

We are working to develop and improve measurements of teachers’ knowledge and effectiveness, as well as to understand how teachers can develop effective practices and apply them in the classroom.

Workforce Readiness and 21st Century Skills

ETS is focused on identifying and assessing the skills needed for today's workforce to support employers as they recruit the qualified workers they need to compete in the global economy.