ETS to Introduce Evaluation System for Critical Personal Attributes
ETS® Personal Potential Index (ETS® PPI) measures key noncognitive skills for graduate admissions
- Mark I. McNutt
- Mark I. McNutt
Washington, D.C. (December 5, 2008) —
In July 2009, with the full support of the Graduate Record Examinations® (GRE®) Board, Educational Testing Service (ETS) will launch the ETS® Personal Potential Index (ETS® PPI), the first large-scale evaluation of personal attributes for use in graduate admissions decisions. ETS made the announcement today at the annual meeting of the Council of Graduate Schools.
ETS® PPI is an easy-to-use, web-based evaluation system designed to provide a more complete picture of a graduate school candidate. Evaluators will rate applicants on six personal dimensions, or “attributes,” that are critical for success in graduate study — Knowledge and Creativity; Communication Skills; Teamwork; Resilience; Planning and Organization; and Ethics and Integrity.
As a state-of-the-art tool for assessing personal attributes, ETS PPI will round out the graduate school application by providing information beyond grades, test scores and recommendation letters.
“The development of the ETS® Personal Potential Index serves as an important step in providing admission decision makers with more background information about critical characteristics of the applicant,” says Scott Bass, Provost, American University.
“A decision regarding the admission of a graduate student involves judgments about the future academic success of an applicant,” explains Bass. “While we have objective information on the prior performance in undergraduate school and scores from the GRE test, we lack standardized information on other important traits, such as persistence, determination and creative potential.”
Because the development of ETS PPI came as a direct response to the expressed needs of graduate deans and faculty, interest in ETS PPI is expected to be substantial, according to David G. Payne, Ph.D., ETS Associate Vice President for College and Graduate Programs and a former Dean of the Graduate School at Binghamton University.
“Almost a decade ago, members of the graduate community and our own independent GRE Board came to us and asked ETS to explore for a way to provide a standardized assessment of personal attributes to be used in the graduate admissions process,” says Payne. “What followed was years of research and hundreds of interviews with graduate and business school deans and faculty. Ultimately, we came up with a tool that truly reveals a more complete picture of a candidate’s potential. And to the extent that it is the best way to reveal a candidate’s critical attributes beyond grades, test scores and recommendation letters, ETS PPI is expected to be well-received and broadly utilized.”
Students who register for the GRE General Test starting in July 2009 will have the option of using ETS PPI at no additional cost. ETS PPI is not exclusive to those who register for the GRE in July and beyond. It will be available for past GRE registrants and others who wish to have an ETS PPI evaluation as part of their academic profile for advanced study, for a modest fee of $20 per report.
Because it measures certain personal attributes highly valued in graduate study and not consistently captured in material currently provided by graduate applicants, ETS PPI is expected to bring added value to the admissions process for graduate and business schools, including MBA programs.
ETS PPI has been piloted through Project 1000, an initiative based at Arizona State University whose mission is to increase the number of underrepresented students in graduate school.
At nonprofit ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® test and The Praxis Series™ assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide.