What is the ETS Personal Potential Index (PPI)?

Grad School Admissions

ETS Personal Potential Index (PPI)

Update: ETS is discontinuing the PPI, effective July 1, 2016. For more info, visit https://www.ets.org/ppi.

Students who take the GRE can complete the ETS Personal Potential Index (PPI)—an online evaluation intended to give a more complete picture of a an applicant than grades and traditional scores. The PPI allows evaluators the rate applicants on six attributes considered vital to success in graduate study: Knowledge and Creativity, Communication Skills, Teamwork, Resilience, Planning and Organization and Ethics and Integrity.

ETS  says that the PPI is the response to requests by graduate deans and faculty for a tool that “reveals a more complete picture of a candidate’s potential.” According to David G. Payne, Ph.D., Vice President and COO in the ETS Higher Education & School Assessments Division, research shows that achievement gaps in standardized tests don't exist in noncognitive measures. Thus, the PPI is seen as a tool that may help level the playing field for students seeking graduate and professional degrees.

How the PPI Works

  • Student creates an ETS PPI profile online
  • Student provides contact information for the evaluators he or she would like to complete an ETS PPI evaluation
  • ETS sends an e-mail to each evaluator inviting them to access the ETS PPI system to complete the student's evaluation
  • Evaluators log in to the system and respond to a series of statements to rate the student on the 6 personal attributes and to provide an overall rating of the student
  • Student is notified when each evaluation has been completed
  • Student then chooses the schools to which the evaluations will be sent
  • ETS creates an evaluation report (PDF) and sends it to the institutions the student designates.

For more information on the Personal Potential Index, visit: http://www.ets.org/ppi.