Frequently Asked Questions About the ETS® Proficiency Profile

General Information

What is the difference between norm-referenced scores (scaled scores) and criterion-referenced scores (proficiency classifications)?

Norm-referenced scores (scaled scores) derive their meaning from comparisons of the scores of one student or group of students with those of another or the same student or group of students at different points in time. Most test results are reported as norm-referenced scores.

Criterion-referenced scores (proficiency classifications) measure the level of proficiency students obtained on a certain skill set. These scores have meaning of their own — without other scores to compare against — but can be used to make comparisons between students or groups of students. The ETS® Proficiency Profile provides criterion-referenced scores of proficient, marginal and not proficient for three skill areas: reading/critical thinking, writing and mathematics.

For more information, refer to the Scores section.

Has the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) recognized the ETS Proficiency Profile?

Yes, the VSA initiative has recognized the reliability and validity of the ETS Proficiency Profile by selecting it as one of three approved instruments for measuring student learning outcomes. Institutions can also use the ETS Proficiency Profile to promote curriculum improvement and gain additional insight into students' critical thinking capabilities.

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

Contact ETS Proficiency Profile's Tech Support at 1-800-514-8491, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–6 p.m. ET.

Off-Campus Testing — Information for Institutions

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. You also still have the option to administer the nonproctored form of the test.

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. After the test has been completed, you will be able to view results and run reports as you do today.

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

Students will receive an email with information on how to register for a testing appointment session and a link to test-taker information on the ETS Proficiency Profile website. This information will include ID requirements, computer requirements and what to expect on test day. The students will need to take the test on a computer with Internet access and a webcam.

Are students able to reschedule or cancel a test session?

As long as the student reschedules or cancels within 48 hours of their testing appointment, there will be no penalty to the institution. 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 the test fee, the test taker must cancel his/her registration no later than 48 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.

When will scores be available?

Scores will be accessible via the Internet immediately after test administration. Additionally, student scores will display on-screen upon completion of the test and will also be available to the student by logging on to the online student portal.

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

 Off-campus Testing — Information for Test Takers

What is the ETS Proficiency Profile?

The ETS Proficiency Profile assesses critical thinking, reading, writing and mathematics skills. Institutions use this assessment to demonstrate program effectiveness for accreditation and funding purposes.

Can I test off campus using a remote proctoring service?

If you are eligible to test off campus, you will be notified by your institution.

How will I know if I am eligible?

Your institution will decide if they want you to take the test. If you are identified as eligible to test off campus, you will be sent an email with instructions for how to register.

Do I have to pay for my test session?

No payment will be required during registration. All payment arrangements were made directly with your institution.

I need testing accommodations, what do I do?

If you have a disability or health-related needs that require testing accommodations, contact your institution to discuss your options and schedule an on-campus testing session.

Do I need to show any identification on test day?

Yes, the proctor will ask you to provide a valid and acceptable ID document.

What should I know about ID requirements?

Valid and acceptable identification with your name, signature and photograph is required to begin your test. ID requirements are strictly enforced. View a list of acceptable ID documents.

What other security measures are taken before testing begins?

After reviewing your identification, the proctor will ask you to pan your webcam around the room so that he/she can verify that you are alone. The proctor will also ask you to use a reflective device to show them the area around your computer so that they can verify that no unauthorized testing aids are being used. After the proctor has confirmed that your testing area is secure, you may be asked to complete an authentication quiz. Once testing begins, the proctor will continue to monitor you using the webcam to ensure that test security is maintained.

What if I need to reschedule my test?

If you need to change your exam date or time, you must do so at least 48 hours before your testing appointment or the exam fee paid by your institution will be forfeited. You may reschedule or cancel your appointment online by logging into the ETS Proficiency Profile Student Portal.

Where can I find test preparation materials?

The ETS Proficiency Profile is intended to measure academic skills developed in general education courses. The test does not measure specific subject knowledge. A quick review of the test content description and sample questions will help you get familiar with test content and the types of questions you can expect.

When will my scores be available?

Your individual score will display on-screen upon completion of the test. You will have the opportunity to view and print your score report at the end of the test. You can also access the score report by logging on to the ETS Proficiency Profile Student Portal. In addition, your institution will receive your scores as soon as you have completed testing.

What should I do if I have questions about the ETS Proficiency Profile?

For more information about the ETS Proficiency Profile or if you have questions regarding testing, contact your institution.


ETS Proficiency Profile Administrator Portal (Program Workshop)

Order tests, manage test administrations, run reports (for existing customers only)

ETS Proficiency Profile Annual Comparative Data Guide

Compare the performance of your students with those of a large group of students at other institutions.