ETS Launches Math Assessment Games Challenge


Princeton, N.J. (May 1, 2012) —

Educational Testing Service (ETS) is now taking entries from game developers and educators for a contest to create a computer game or mobile app that acts as a K–12 math assessment. One grand prize winner will receive $7,000 and an all-expense-paid trip for one person to showcase the winning project in a learning and games demo space at ETS in Princeton, N.J.

ETS is looking for innovative ideas that produce evidence of students’ knowledge, skills and abilities in mathematics. The assessment tasks should be based on a Learning Progression for a field of mathematics in grades K–12. The ETS Assessment Games Challenge features three categories of entry:

  • Variables and Equality Learning Progression (approximately grades 5–9)
  • Linear Functions Learning Progression (approximately grades 7–10)
  • Open entry for another Learning Progression in any other K–12 mathematical content

Entries must include a working software application that runs on a widely available software platform (e.g., web, desktop, iOS®, Android®, etc.). For a complete list of entry requirements, visit

"Video games and apps have enormous potential to fundamentally change the way people view standardized testing. The days are gone of children having to sit down with a paper and pencil to take a test," says Gabrielle Cayton-Hodges, Associate Research Scientist at ETS. "We’re interested in meeting designers who may have never worked in assessment before, but may have great new ideas of what it can look like and who have a good sense of what is engaging for today’s students."  

Submissions will be judged on a 1–10 scale over four criteria by a panel of assessment developers, game designers and educators:

  • Reusability (1: the ideas behind this task apply only in this specific game context; 10: the ideas behind this task can be applied to a wide range of game  contexts and for a wide range of knowledge, skills and abilities )
  • Measurement value (1: data collected in the course of students’ game play does not target intended knowledge/understanding; 10: task perfectly targets evidence of intended knowledge, skills and abilities)
  • Originality (1: task is unoriginal; 10: task is innovative, unique and creative)
  • Engagement (1: task is boring/not engaging; 10: task is extremely engaging)

The winner will also have a chance to sit down in a private meeting with Scott Paris, Vice President of Research at ETS to discuss his or her ideas. Three runners up (one in each category of entry) will receive an all-expense-paid trip for one person to showcase the project in a learning and game demo space at ETS in Princeton, N.J. The runners-up will also have a chance to sit down in private meetings with the Vice President of Research at ETS to discuss their ideas.

The ETS Assessment Games Challenge will accept entries from May 1, 2012, through August 17, 2012. Complete guidelines and details on how to enter are available at

About ETS

At 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 as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series™ assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide.