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Statistics and Psychometrics

This line of research at ETS promotes new and improved psychometric and statistical methods and capabilities through innovation and development of foundational knowledge. An important area of focus is the development and extension of psychometric methods and capabilities to the measurement of skills, attributes and processes that so far have not been measured well — for example, collaborative skills and problem-solving strategies.

Our researchers in this field aim to:

  • support and improve ETS's testing programs and future assessments and services in line with ETS's strategic visions
  • advance the science and practice of assessment, measurement, statistics and educational research

Achieving these aims is consistent with ETS’s mission to help advance quality and equity in education by providing fair and valid assessments that serve all test takers, including underserved and disadvantaged learners and institutions.

ETS is a leader in educational assessment research. Here are examples of statistical and psychometric research conducted within ETS's Research & Development division:

  • Improving or extending the psychometric methods used to support current assessments — for example, differential item functioning, equating, item-response theory models, statistical forensics used to detect fraudulent test-taking behavior, direct estimation of results for groups (NAEP, PISA and PIAAC)
  • Improving or extending statistical procedures used more generally in social science and policy-related research — for example, value-added models, statistical causal modeling 
  • Investigating how process and timing data can be used to enhance the analysis and reporting of assessment results
  • Developing and improving methods for scoring, scaling and reporting complex assessments, including game-based and simulation-based assessments

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