iSkills™ Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

What is the iSkills™ assessment?

The iSkills™ assessment measures the ability to think critically in a digital environment — a subset of the larger domain of critical thinking. The exam is designed to measure and validate advanced critical thinking skills in a technological context and features real-world, scenario-based tasks.

What skills or concepts does the iSkills assessment cover?

The iSkills assessment utilizes real-world scenarios to measure the ability to navigate, critically evaluate and make sense of the wealth of information available through digital technology. These scenarios are set in the context of the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, business/workplace, practical affairs and popular culture, and assess the seven critical ICT content areas. The exam features seven task types aligned with the ACRL standards: define, assess, evaluate, manage, integrate, create and communicate.

What populations is the iSkills assessment appropriate for?

Because the test includes tasks at a wide range of difficulty levels, the exam is suitable for students from high school through college.

How long does the iSkills assessment take to administer?

One hour. With a demographic questionnaire and other test-related activities, seat time is approximately 75 minutes.

How can the results of the iSkills assessment be used?

Aggregate reports will provide data that can be used for accreditation and accountability, as well as curriculum improvement. Moreover, ETS offers a certificate for those who achieve at or above a certain level of proficiency on the assessment. Certificates have proven to be a welcome incentive for students to take the test seriously.

How do administrators access iSkills score reports for students or groups?

Score reports can be retrieved via the ETS Program Workshop, a web-based administration portal.

How is the iSkills assessment administered?

The iSkills assessment is a secure, web-based assessment that can be administered anywhere, anytime using institution-owned machines or student laptops. A small file must be installed on any machine used to administer the exam. This file ensures that during the test administration the student cannot perform tasks outside of the test environment — such as web searching or instant messaging — and helps keep the exam secure by preventing students from capturing information about the test by disabling all keys not needed to take the test. In the event that a test administration is disrupted due to technical issues (such as limited bandwidth, loss of Internet connectivity or power outage), the web-based testing system will allow the student to resume the test on the same task and with the same amount of time remaining as when the disruption occurred.

What are available hours for technical support?

Technical support is available during normal business hours, 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. After-hours support is also available.

Where can the iSkills assessment be administered?

As a web-based assessment, it can be administered practically anywhere that meets the minimum technical requirements. However, ETS requires supervision of all students during examination sessions to ensure that no copy of the test or notes that contain the content of the test questions or answers are used by test takers during the examination. Because of this, the iSkills assessment can only be administered in proctored environments.

What are the technical requirements for the iSkills assessment to be administered?


Operating System Windows® 98, XP, NT, 2000 and later Windows 98, XP, NT, 2000 and later
Internet Browser Internet Explorer® 5.5 or greater Internet Explorer 5.5 or greater
Internet Connection High Speed 128k or greater
Screen Resolution 1024 x 768 1024 x 768
How does a college, university, high school or other institution become an authorized iSkills administration site?

Institutions of higher education do not require approval of any kind to begin administering the iSkills assessment. There are no contracts, no minimum purchases, no expiration dates, and no requirements whatsoever.

If your institution has not used the iSkills assessment previously, simply provide ETS with basic information about your institution by completing the User Account Creation Form, and within 48 hours you will receive an email instructing you on how to access the system and perform basic functions such as purchasing tests, setting up test administrations, and creating proctors and administrators. If you have used the iSkills assessment previously, the account access information you provided will be reactivated, and you will be able to use any user name and password you chose previously for accessing the iSkills administration system.

Businesses or other nonacademic organizations should contact an ETS assessment advisor to determine the appropriateness of the iSkills assessment before ordering and administering the test.

Can the iSkills assessment be administered around the world?

The web-based administration system allows for administration anywhere in the world (as long as a QWERTY character keyboard is used). However, as the test was created for U.S. audiences, test takers in other regions may encounter certain terms and phrases with which they may not be familiar. ETS assessment development experts indicate that none of these unfamiliar terms interfere with performance on the assessments — that is, test takers do not need to be familiar with these terms and phrases as they are not germane to understanding or completing the task they are being asked to perform. The iSkills assessment will initially only be available in English as no translations are yet planned. Talk to your ETS assessment specialist about the availability of the exam in your region.

How can the iSkills assessment be purchased?

Once an institution completes the User Account Creation Form, an institution administrator may place their order using the ETS Program Workshop test administration system.

How can students register for the iSkills assessment?

There is no preregistration process for individual students. Students wishing to take the iSkills assessment can only do so through the college or university they attend. Institutions wishing for their students to take the iSkills assessment must solicit those students directly, and those students selected do not need to complete any forms or registration materials before the day they take the test.

How much does the iSkills assessment cost?

Pricing is based on quantity ordered, and volume discounts will be available for bulk purchases. See Pricing and Ordering.

How can I obtain more information about the iSkills assessment or sign up to become an iSkills user institution?

Contact an ETS assessment specialist at 1-800-745-0269 or see Pricing and Ordering.

Off-Campus Testing — Information for Institutions

Why should I consider using off-campus testing?

Off-campus testing allows you to administer proctored tests to a broader range of your students, primarily those who are not geographically near your campus testing center. Now you can assess your entire population with the same test and the same level of security to provide you with the most reliable and valid data available to do your analysis.

Is there a fee for utilizing off-campus testing?

Yes. There will be an additional fee for the remote proctoring testing sessions. See pricing and ordering for details.

Do I have to test everyone off campus?

No. When setting up a cohort for testing, you can choose which students you would like to test on campus or off campus.

How does the process work for off-campus testing?

When you set up your testing cohort, you will identify those students you would like to test using a remote proctor. Once identified, the students will receive an email directing them how to schedule their testing appointment. After the test has been completed, you will be able to view results and run reports as you do today.

What do students need to take the test using a remote proctor?

Students will receive an email that includes scheduling instructions and a link to test-taker information, including ID requirements, computer requirements and what to expect on test day. The students will need to take the test on a Windows computer with Internet access and a webcam.

Are students able to reschedule or cancel a test session?

As long as the student reschedules or cancels within 24 hours of their testing appointment, there will be no penalty to the institution. See how students can change or cancel an off-campus test registration on the policies and procedures page.

What happens if one of my students is absent from the test appointment or leaves in the middle of the test?

If the student is absent from the appointment, the session fee will be forfeited, but the test will remain in your inventory for future use. If the student leaves at any time during the testing session, the session and test will be forfeited.

What if a test taker cancels his/her testing appointment?

In order to avoid forfeiting the test fee, the test taker must cancel his/her registration no later than 24 hours prior to the testing appointment. If a test taker cancels within this time period, the test session will be returned to your inventory for future use.

When will scores be available?

Scores will be accessible via the Internet immediately after test administration. Additionally, student scores will display on-screen upon completion of the test and will also be available to the student by logging on to the online student portal.

What security measures are taken by the remote proctoring service?

Students will be asked to display identification before testing can begin. Students will also go through a process with the proctor that verifies that they are alone in the room and that no unauthorized materials are in the testing area. Students may also be asked to complete an authentication quiz before testing begins.

Using the webcam, the proctor will monitor the entire testing session. All discretions are noted by the proctor and reported to ETS. Failure to comply with these security measures may result in cancellation of the student’s scores and forfeiture of the test fees.

Off-Campus Testing — Information for Test Takers

What is the iSkills assessment?

The iSkills assessment from ETS is an outcomes-based assessment that measures the ability to think critically in a digital environment through a range of real-world tasks. Institutions use the results of the assessment to meet information literacy and digital fluency requirements for accreditation and accountability initiatives and performance funding.

Can I test off campus using a remote proctoring service?

If you are eligible to test off campus, you will be notified by your institution.

How will I know if I am eligible?

Your institution will decide if they want you to take the test. If you are identified as eligible to test off campus, you will be sent an email with instructions for how to register.

Do I have to pay for my test session?

No payment will be required during registration. All payment arrangements were made directly with your institution.

Do I need to show any identification on test day?

Yes, the proctor will ask you to provide a valid and acceptable identification (ID) document.

What should I know about ID requirements?

Valid and acceptable ID with your name, signature and photograph is required to begin your test. ID requirements are strictly enforced. View a list of acceptable ID documents.

What other security measures are taken before testing begins?

After reviewing your ID, the proctor will ask you to pan your webcam around the room so that he/she can verify that you are alone. The proctor will also ask you to use a reflective device to show them the area around your computer so that they can verify that no unauthorized testing aids are being used. After the proctor has confirmed that your testing area is secure, you may be asked to complete an authentication quiz. Once testing begins, the proctor will continue to monitor you using the webcam to ensure that test security is maintained.

What if I need to reschedule my test?

If you need to change your exam date or time, you must do so at least 24 hours before your testing appointment or the exam fee paid by your institution will be forfeited. You may reschedule or cancel your appointment online by logging on to the iSkills Student Portal.

Where can I find test preparation materials?

The iSkills assessment is intended to measure a student's ability to navigate, critically evaluate and make sense of information available through digital technology. The test does not measure specific subject knowledge. A review of the test content description and sample questions will help you get familiar with test content and the types of questions you can expect.

When will my scores be available?

Your individual score will display on-screen upon completion of the test. You will have the opportunity to view and print your score report at the end of the test. You can also access the score report by logging on to the iSkills Student Portal. Your institution will have access to your scores as soon as you have completed testing.

What should I do if I have questions about the iSkills assessment?

For more information about the iSkills assessment or if you have questions regarding testing, contact your institution.