iSkills™ Frequently Asked Questions
What is the iSkills™ Assessment?
iSkills™ is an assessment that 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 iSkills cover?
iSkills 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 iSkills 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 as well as, for working adults.
How long does iSkills 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 iSkills be used?
Aggregate reports will provide data that can be used for accreditation and accountability, as well as curriculum improvement. Moreover, ETS will begin offering 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 iSkills administered?
iSkills is a secure, web-based assessment which 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?
ETS provides technical support during normal business hours, 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. (ET), Monday through Friday. Extended support hours are available on request.
Where can iSkills be administered?
As a web-based assessment, iSkills 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, iSkills can only be administered in proctored environments.
What are the technical requirements for iSkills 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 iSkills 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 iSkills 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 non-academic organizations should contact an ETS assessment advisor to determine the appropriateness of iSkills before ordering and administering the test.
Can iSkills 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. iSkills 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 iSkills 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 iSkills?
There is no preregistration process for individual students. Students wishing to take iSkills can only do so through the college or university they attend. Institutions wishing for their students to take iSkills 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 will iSkills 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 iSkills or sign up to become an iSkills user institution?
Contact an ETS assessment specialist at 1-800-745-0269 or visit the iSkills website at www.ets.org/iskills.