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ETS® Major Field Tests

Demonstrate program effectiveness and evaluate student performance

Select a topic to see how the ETS® Major Field Tests can help you improve curricula and student learning outcomes.


How the Major Field Tests are Scored

Score scales

Total scores for the ETS Major Field Tests are statistically equated scaled scores. The use of scaled scores ensures the comparability of scores across different test forms. This is essential when looking at longitudinal performance. Given the different populations, three scales are used:

  • Undergraduate Major Field Tests — a scale of 120–200
  • Major Field Test for MBA — a scale of 220–300
  • Major Field Test for Associate Business Degree — a scale of 520–600

Students should attempt to answer every question, since there are no penalties for guessing

Score types

In addition to the total score, there are two types of scores reported:

  • Assessment Indicators are reported only for groups of students. Assessment Indicators report the average percent of correct answers in a particular subject area for all students tested so you can determine if your students are having difficulty with specific clusters of questions. Content areas for which assessment indicator scores are reported typically have approximately 15 questions on the exam.
  • Subscores are reported for individual students on most Major Field Tests, on a scale of 20–100. For every major there are sub-content areas. The number of questions on the exam and the breadth of the sub-content area determine if a reliable subscore can be reported for an individual. Because subscores require 30 questions for a specific sub-content area to be completed, not all Major Field Tests provide subscores.

Locally authored questions

Institutions can customize test content by adding up to 50 locally authored questions. These questions are reported as frequencies of students answering options for each question. Since optional questions are written by your institution for your institution and are not comparable to other schools, they are not included in your students’ overall scores.


Background information questions

Background information is collected for each student for the purpose of gathering data in group form about students' backgrounds, academic preparation and demographics. Answers to these questions do not affect a student's test scores but responses are summarized and reported as part of the scoring services.