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PPAT® Scoring Policies

ETS recognizes your right to control the information about you that is stored by ETS. Its policies are designed to safeguard your information from unauthorized disclosure. Your score report is intended only for you and for your designated score recipients. However, background information as noted in the registration system is reported to some states and institutions. To protect your right to control the distribution of your scores, reports will be released only at your specific written request and only to ETS-approved score recipients. Every recipient must be specified by you in the online registration system. ETS will not release your scores at the request of institutions or agencies except:

  • For use in research studies that are approved by your state department of education and that preserve your anonymity.
  • When information is required under compulsion of legal processes.
  • When a state's central regents office or board of governors requests copies of scores that have been reported to its member institutions.
  • When test takers have been informed at test registration that their scores will automatically be released to the state and the test-taker’s attending institution.
  • When a branch institution requests scores previously sent to its main office or vice versa.

Official score reports for properly designated recipients are sent directly from ETS to ensure the authenticity of the reports. Note that whenever ETS has confirmed that you have submitted an ETS® Performance Assessment score report directly to an educational institution, agency or district in satisfaction of one of its requirements, ETS will respond to requests for score verification from that recipient.

Cancellation of Scores by ETS

ETS strives to report scores that accurately reflect the performance of every test taker. Accordingly, ETS's standards and procedures for administering tests have two primary goals: 1.) giving test takers equivalent opportunities to demonstrate their abilities, and 2.) preventing any test takers from gaining an unfair advantage over others. To promote these objectives, ETS reserves the right to cancel any score when, in its judgment:

  • there is an apparent discrepancy in a test-taker's identification
  • the test taker attempts to use the work or ideas of others as their own
  • the score is invalid for another reason

Reviews of scores by ETS are confidential. When, for any of the above reasons, ETS cancels a score that has already been reported, it notifies score recipients that the score has been canceled, but does not disclose the reason for cancellation except when authorized to do so by the test taker and in certain group cases.

Test takers whose scores are canceled will forfeit their registration fees, and must pay to take the assessment again at a future administration. No record of score cancellations, or the reason for cancellation, will appear on their future score reports sent to colleges and universities.

Identification Discrepancies

When, in the judgment of ETS, there is a discrepancy in a test-taker's identification, ETS may decline to score the assessment or may cancel the score and the fee will be forfeited. If scores are canceled by ETS, the fees will NOT be refunded.


ETS reserves the right to cancel the scores of test takers at any time when, in its judgment, there is evidence that text submitted is substantially similar to that found in other performance assessment responses and/or training materials, such as, but not limited to, the library of examples. Such responses do not reflect the independent writing that the assessment seeks to measure.

Essay Similarity Detection

Each task response in the assessment, whether submitted during the original submission window or during the resubmission window, must be entirely your work. While we encourage getting support from your educator preparation program (EPP) supervising instructor and cooperating teacher/mentor, each task must be distinctly and solely your own work. Software is utilized to scan all responses for overlap with submissions from all submission windows and from the Library of Examples. Paragraphs, or even sections of paragraphs, that are substantially similar will be construed as overlap. If such overlap is detected, an investigation with the ETS Office of Testing Integrity (OTI) may be initiated and scores could be voided. Results of all investigations conducted may be forwarded to your state department of education. When responses are reviewed for overlap, the following steps will occur:

  • Essay similarity detection software will be run on all submitted responses and will identify cases where overlap exists.
  • Cases identified with overlap by the software will be reviewed by assessment specialists to determine if there is substantial overlap to warrant further action.
  • Cases with substantial overlap will be sent to ETS's OTI.
  • Scores will be placed on hold prior to reporting the overall assessment score so that scores are not issued. You will be informed that your scores are on administrative hold.
  • You will be informed that your task response is under review by ETS’s OTI, and you will be provided one opportunity to submit additional materials to ETS's OTI to support your case. Your response must be received by the deadline specified in the communication from OTI. You have the ability to request that ETS supply the portions of the responses that are in question.
  • Members of ETS's Board of Review will review all materials and provide an independent assessment of the case to ETS's OTI.
  • You will receive a letter from ETS's OTI notifying you of the Board of Review's decision after the review has been completed.
  • If one or more of the members of the Board of Review conclude that your scores should be released, the hold on your scores will be removed and you will be able to view your score report online.
  • If the Board of Review arrives at a unanimous consensus that there is substantial evidence to support cancellation of your scores, the scores will be voided.
  • Your attending institution will be informed of the cancellation of your scores.

Misuse of Score Report

PPAT® assessment scores are intended for use in awarding a teacher certification or for program completion. Other use of this assessment and the scores reported is inappropriate. While not inclusive of all possible examples of misuse, one specific example of misuse is:

  • Employment Selection or Hiring. ETS believes it is inappropriate for a state, district, school or other local education agency to differentiate among test takers who have met or exceeded the passing score on the PPAT assessment or related assessment for purposes of making a selection or hiring decision. The PPAT assessment was designed for use in awarding the teacher candidate a professional certificate. It is not intended for use in rank-ordering candidates or for making decisions that presume a predictive relationship between performance on the PPAT assessment and performance on the job.