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Frequently Asked Questions About the HEIghten® Outcomes Assessment Suite

General Information

How can I use the data from the HEIghten® Outcomes Assessment Suite?

The assessment results can be used for accreditation and accountability initiatives, to guide curriculum improvement, and to measure growth and development.

How do I benchmark my institution?

Typically, benchmarking is done to compare your population or a subpopulation of students against the entire population of institutions or entire population of students taking the assessment. To accurately benchmark your institution, you'll want to ensure that you have a large representative sample of students from your institution, and this may include Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors, or the sample may be based on the number of credit hours completed. The mean scores of this sample is what you'll compare against other institutions. ETS will provide comparative data for benchmarking purposes once the required number of tests have been administered and scored.

Can I determine value-added using these assessments?

Value-added refers to statistical procedures used to determine if students perform better on an assessment as a result of an institution's educational intervention, e.g., your general education curriculum. There are several statistical models for determining value-added. All of these models rely not only on the data obtained from assessments such as these, but they also rely on the quality of the assessment process and other types of data the institution obtains on their student population. For assistance in determining whether a value-added model is feasible for your institution, please contact an ETS Assessment Advisor.

How do I use the data from these assessments to improve student learning?

Faculty members and administrators can use these assessments and the data obtained from them to determine student performance. If overall student performance, or performance for some subpopulation of students is not meeting expectations, these assessments can help identify this information. Once an accurate description of student performance has been obtained, the data along with faculty member and administrative expertise can determine what educational interventions or services can be used to improve student performance. For best practices in this area, please consult your ETS Assessment Advisor.

What kind of support will my institution receive from ETS if we choose to use these assessments?

Our assessments are backed by many years of experience in measuring outcomes of educational programs. You'll have access to assessment advisors who can provide you with resources and best practices in the assessment of student learning outcomes. You also have access to our ETS Assessment Insights service. This service can assist with training your faculty members and administrators on the assessment process using best practices from our relationships with hundreds of institutions. To inquire about this service, please contact an ETS Assessment Advisor.

Test Administration

How is the HEIghten Outcomes Assessment Suite administered?

The assessments are administered online in one of the following ways:

  • Proctored on campus. You can administer them within a class period or in a separate session.
  • Proctored off campus. Secure off-campus remote proctoring services are offered through our partner, ProctorU®.
  • Nonproctored. For information on administering nonproctored assessments, view the Test Administration page.
What are the system requirements?
The HEIghten assessments utilize a secure browser that prevents test takers from accessing anything other than the test content during an administration. System requirements for the HEIghten assessments can be found on our Site Readiness page.
Must all students be tested on the same day?

No. Because the assessments are administered online, institutions can choose when to administer them. While each student must complete the test in about an hour, you can choose to administer the assessments in a single administration or in multiple administrations.

Who should I contact if I'm having technical difficulties during the online test administration?

If you experience any disruption or issues during your testing session, contact Technical Support at 1-800-514-8491, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. If calling outside of business hours, select option 1 for after-hours assistance.

Off-Campus Testing

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 per student to participate. 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.

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

Test takers will receive an email with information on how to register for a testing appointment session and a link to test-taker information on the HEIghten assessment website. This information will include ID requirements, computer requirements and what to expect on test day. Test takers will need a computer equipped with a webcam, microphone and internet access to allow the proctor to confirm the security of the area. See what to bring for further details.

Please note: Cell phones, smartphones, smart watches and any other electronic photographic, recording or listening devices are not permitted during testing. Refer to policies and procedures for further details.

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. See change or cancel your 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 all associated fees, 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.

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 indiscretions are noted by the proctor and reportaed to ETS. Failure to comply with these security measures may result in cancellation of the student's scores and forfeiture of the test fees.


When will scores be available?

Scores for all modules, except Written Communication, are available as soon as the tests have been completed. The Written Communication module contains an essay that must be scored by human readers. Scores for the Written Communication test are typically available within 4 to 6 weeks. Institution aggregate reports are available once a testing cohort has been closed.

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