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Assessment Development

A cross-functional team of researchers, instructional design specialists, software engineers, psychometricians, content experts and item writers create and validate your assessment.

Test Creation

Over the past 70 years, ETS test developers have produced more than 180 test titles — skills tests, end-of-course tests and large-scale assessments — including the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for the U.S. Department of Education, the AP® and the SAT® tests for the College Board®, as well as state and district assessments. Our process involves more than assembling items; we leverage our research to suggest innovative test designs, new item types, new measurement and data analysis techniques to support smarter tests for students.

Test Innovations

Our research innovations contribute to the field of educational measurement. ETS's scientific contributions to testing include:

  • co-invention of Item Response Theory
  • contributions to modern validity theory
  • development of approach to causal modeling from observational data or performance assessment
  • invention of the Differential Item Functioning (DIF), a method for detecting test bias or unfairness
  • creation of the holistic scoring for writing assessment
  • invention of the Angoff Method for standard setting
  • development of methods for evidence-centered design
  • contributions to the design of computer-adaptive testing
  • application of Artificial Intelligence in test-scoring protocols

Looking Forward

ETS continues to contribute to the field and apply the results of our research to the tests we develop. Our current research includes:

  • development of technology-enhanced test items
  • creation of simulation-based assessments
  • expansion of game-based models for assessing learning and performance
  • development of interactive spoken-language assessment tools
  • design of assessments that measure noncognitive behaviors such as engagement and grit
  • development of biometrics-based user authentication for enhanced test security

Throughout the research process, we remain focused on:

  • designing smarter, faster and more efficient tests for K–12 students
  • creating systems that more closely measure the work students and teachers are doing in the classroom

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How We Approach Testing

Learn more about how we perform our work in assessment development.

How We Apply Standards of Quality and Fairness

Learn how we use research to design assessments that are fair to all groups.