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About the ETS® Major Field Tests

For several decades, ETS and the Major Field Tests have helped institutions meet external requirements for accreditation and funding for measuring student learning outcomes. As the landscape in higher education continues to evolve, the need to demonstrate to accreditors and prospective students that your programs are meeting their goals and continually improving is even more important.

As a market-leading organization with a rich research base, ETS is the perfect partner for you to get the valid and reliable data needed to make sound decisions and show the true performance of the students in your program.

Get the Valid, Actionable Data You Need for Accreditation Initiatives and More

The ETS® Major Field Tests are comprehensive undergraduate and MBA outcomes assessments designed to measure the critical knowledge and understanding obtained by students in a major field of study. The Major Field Tests go beyond the measurement of factual knowledge by helping you evaluate your students' ability to analyze and solve problems, understand relationships and interpret material from their major field of study.

The Major Field Tests help you:

  • meet requirements for accreditation and accountability initiatives and performance funding by measuring the effectiveness of your program
  • evaluate and inform teaching and learning, and pinpoint strengths and areas of improvement to strengthen curricula and student learning outcomes
  • demonstrate the strengths of your program to prospective students and faculty
  • track longitudinal performance and trend analysis to evaluate program improvement efforts
  • measure your program's effectiveness — and your students’ performance — against programs at similar institutions nationwide, using comprehensive national comparative data

Disciplines and Test Content

For more information about specific disciplines, select a major field below to get a description of test content, sample questions and sample reports.



Social Sciences


Test Format and Flexibility

Institutions typically have their students take the Major Field Tests during their final year of study, after they successfully complete most of their major's required courses.

There are no preset test administration dates — testing is conducted at your convenience, either onsite or remotely via computer. A variety of testing formats offers flexibility to meet your specific scheduling and staffing needs. You can also add up to 50 locally authored questions to cover topic areas unique to your program.

Test format options include:

  • paper-and-pencil or online delivery
  • proctored on-campus administration
  • proctored off-campus administration (online only)

Learn more about the format of the Major Field Tests.

Test Validity and Research

The content covers the topics being taught at programs across the United States, as validated by nationwide curriculum surveys. These surveys are used for the design of the Major Field Tests.

For additional information on test validity, see the Major Field Tests research page.

Interested in Learning More?

For more information about how the Major Field Tests can help your program, contact us.

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Major Field Test Administrator Portal (Program Workshop)

Order tests, manage test administrations, run reports (for existing customers only).

View our Webinars

Watch our complimentary, on-demand webinar to learn about best practices in aligning course and program outcomes and analyzing data with the ETS Major Field Test.