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Multistate Standard-Setting Studies for the ETS® NOTE Program

The ETS Multistate Standard-Setting Study process assists states when adopting new passing scores. This approach, designed by ETS researchers, convenes one or more practitioner panels that recommend a passing score for states to consider. Each panel of the multistate studies is facilitated by an ETS standard-setting specialist. This specialist understands the purpose of the study and its design and ensures that the panelists are able to fully participate in every aspect of the study.

Why Are They Helpful?

Multistate Standard-Setting Studies:

  • reduce the state burden of recruiting educators
  • gain greater educator input into the passing score recommendation — up to 50 educators
  • provide a more efficient process for moving states from old to new tests
  • allow for multiple rounds of panel judgments, feedback and discussion
  • add support for states seeking greater interstate portability

Each state maintains valuable control by setting its own passing score, while the Multistate Standard-Setting Study provides practitioner judgments and documentation to inform that decision.

What Is the Process?

  • Before panelists are ready to make standard-setting judgments, they independently review the assessment and discuss the content and difficulty levels represented.
  • The panel defines the level of knowledge and skill that must be demonstrated in order to be considered just-qualified to begin practice (i.e., the just-qualified candidate).
  • The panel is provided with the appropriate training to make their standard-setting judgments.
  • The panelists complete an evaluation of their training and their readiness to proceed with their independent judgments.
  • There are multiple rounds of judgments with data and discussion between the rounds.
  • After the final round of judgments, the panel is presented with their final recommendation and they complete their final evaluations.

For More Information

For more information about the Multistate Standard-Setting Studies, email us at