ETS Technologies to Offer GMAT Essay Topics for Writing Practice

March 2, 2001

PRINCETON, N.J. — ETS Technologies, Inc. and the Graduate Management Admissions Council have announced an agreement to offer writing topics from the Graduate Management Admissions Test’s Analytical Writing Assessment as part of ETS Technologies’ Criterion Online Writing Evaluation service.

Users of the Criterion service will now have the opportunity to write practice essays on topics used in the GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment, and to receive scores from the e-rater scoring engine used to score the operational GMAT. Essay scores from e-rater are reported back to users of the Criterion service in about ten seconds.

Access to the GMAT topics and e-rater scoring service will be available through institutional subscriptions at and through ETS Technologies’ Criterion Online Writing Evaluation service at

E-rater is the groundbreaking automated scoring system developed at Educational Testing Service by researchers in natural language processing, a sub-field of artificial intelligence. The system was designed to analyze essays based on writing features specified in holistic scoring rubrics.

Proven highly effective and accurate, e-rater has provided one of the two scores for over 730,000 examinee responses to essay questions administered as part of the GMAT’s Analytical Writing Assessment. The agreement rate between e-rater and expert faculty readers of GMAT essays consistently exceeds 97 percent.

The Graduate Management Admission Test® was designed to help business schools assess the qualifications of applicants for advanced study in business and management. The Analytical Writing Assessment is the essay portion of the test.

“The GMAT topics are excellent measures of analytical writing,” said Richard Swartz, ETS Technologies’ CEO. “The addition of these topics to Criterion will be of interest not only to colleges and universities wanting to provide students with an opportunity to practice for the GMAT writing section, but also to business schools and corporate training programs interested in assessing and improving high-level analytical writing skills.”

“The Graduate Management Admissions Council has led the way in the use of automated essay scoring technology,” Swartz added. ”This collaboration builds upon the tremendous success of both organizations in the implementation of e-rater as part of the scoring for the GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment.”

“Offering the GMAT topics with the e-rater scoring allows anyone to improve their analytical writing skills,” said Fred McHale, GMAC’s Senior Vice President for Research. “Additionally, individuals wanting to prepare for the essay section of the GMAT can write on real GMAT topics and have their essays scored by the scoring engine used in the actual testing program.”

About the Graduate Management Admissions Council

Graduate Management Admission Council®, composed of representatives of leading business schools worldwide, is a not-for-profit educational association dedicated to creating access to graduate management and professional education.

GMAC builds instruments for use by management education in the assessment of individuals, not only in the pre-admission phase of the graduate and professional education process, but in the post-selection and placement phases as well. Assessment services extend to support lifelong learning in management education.

About ETS Technologies, Inc.

ETS Technologies, Inc. is a subsidiary of Educational Testing Service. Established in May 2000, ETS Technologies, Inc. was formed to advance ETS’s many technological innovations in the field of assessment. Its goal is to identify, develop and deploy innovative technologies in support of online learning and assessment applications.

Through ongoing, scientifically based research, ETS Technologies aims to expand and improve educational opportunities by harnessing proven technologies in the service of learning.

About Educational Testing Service

Educational Testing Service is the world’s largest private educational testing and measurement organization and a leader in educational research. A nonprofit company, ETS develops and annually administers more than 12 million tests worldwide.