Educational Testing Service

www.ets.org

Educational Testing Service Reviews in Princeton, NJ

Updated January 30, 2015
Updated January 30, 2015
136 Reviews
3.5
136 Reviews
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Educational Testing Service President and CEO Kurt M. Landgraf
Kurt M. Landgraf
64 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great work life balance if you are in the right department (in 18 reviews)

  • It is nice to work from home, especially if you have kids or are in school (in 12 reviews)


Cons
  • Due to being a non-profit company, pay is somewhat less than other companies (in 5 reviews)

  • A couple of the scoring leaders should have been fired for rudeness and arrogance years ago (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

49 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Mission driven organization that treats employees fairly.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Princeton, NJ
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Princeton, NJ

    I have been working at Educational Testing Service full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very mission driven - generally wants to do what is right for educators and students and their employees.

    Cons

    They have so many different groups especially within IT that it is often hard to get stuff done, and to know who to go to. 1 meeting involving something IT realted could have 15 different people on representing all different areas - people only know about their one area and that is problematic.
    They are trying to go to a more full-service model in k-12...

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2.  

    Great company, positive environment, but resistant to change.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assessment Specialist in Princeton, NJ
    Current Employee - Assessment Specialist in Princeton, NJ

    I have been working at Educational Testing Service full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very supportive management, great benefits, positive work environment, good work-life balance. ETS is a great place to work and they treat employees with respect. The training for test developers relies on on-the-job-training so it can be hit or miss depending upon who you are assigned to work with. I was fortunate to work with great people who helped with my professional development. It can be a little overwhelming in the beginning since you learn as you go, but expectations are reasonable for new employees and responsibility tends to be increased with experience. In my experience colleagues and management are very supportive and create an atmosphere of collegiality. ETS is the kind of company where you can build a long career.

    Cons

    The company culture is very change averse. There is emphasis on length of service over quality of service. If you hang around long enough, you'll be promoted. ETS is terrified of losing employees with experience even if their job performance is lack-luster. Hard work tends to be rewarded with praise, but not necessarily with promotions or compensation. Merit increases are generally given each year, but the difference between the high and low end is not very significant and tends to be based more on where you are within your "salary band" than on performance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't be afraid of change. Let go of employees who aren't pulling their weight and be more proactive about developing and promoting employees who are motivated to work hard and advance. Keeping employees in a holding pattern is not the best way to recruit and retain the best and brightest.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  3.  

    Very poor experience...archaic technology, little guidance, intolerant supervisor

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - NAEP Consultant in Princeton, NJ
    Former Employee - NAEP Consultant in Princeton, NJ

    I worked at Educational Testing Service as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    Entry level jobs pay decently.

    Cons

    This was my experience for the specific department I was a part of. I am not speaking for ETS as a whole.

    -Surprisingly, for a prominent government organization, they operate on ancient Dell computers and their web applications and software function only on Internet Explorer 7. Everything is slow and clunky.
    -My supervisor was antisocial and reclusive and did not provide adequate training for me during my first few weeks. After a year of working at ETS, one has the option of working remotely. My supervisor left after a week of me being there, so when he left, I had no on-sight mentorship.
    -As a young employee just out of college, I was never informed of the protocol for meetings and was never given any specific instructions for how to take on projects. All information was conveyed through email and the occasional phone call, and was often very vague. When I would request guidance from my supervisor, it was often met with condescension, frustration, and a genuine sense of impatience.
    -In addition, after speaking to other employees at ETS about career advancement opportunities, all of them said that they began as temporary contractor (my position) and subsequently were promoted to higher-ranking, full-time salaried positions. They mentioned, too, however, that though this promotion process should occur after a year, the management is often sluggish and forgetful of the performance of their employees, with some people having their promotion periods skipped for 1.5-3 years, after expecting some form of job security after 1.

    I chose to leave because of the aforementioned cons. It was not a very welcoming/stimulating environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Update your hardware, software, and be very cautious of who you assign power to. For a company embracing educational equality, there is nothing remotely resembling a community of learning at ETS.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Great Supplemental Income for Academics

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Test Scorer in Princeton, NJ
    Current Employee - Test Scorer in Princeton, NJ

    I have been working at Educational Testing Service as a contractor (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Work from home
    Professional Staff
    Friendly Corporate Environment
    Very high quality standard
    Employee concerns taken seriously
    You won't find a better group of people to work with

    Cons

    No real opportunity for advancement
    Pay rate the same for new part timers and experienced professionals
    So "nice" that there is no negative feedback until it is too late
    Job is kind of boring and feels like working in a vacuum
    Pay rate is dismal
    Not enough hours
    Pay rate inconsistent for similar tests

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Honest,, regular, immediate and most of all, consistent, feedback to raters and SLs regarding their performance, including negative, though couched gently
    Clear, consistent guidelines across the board for all supervisors, bringing calibration standards in line with production standards
    Transparency with raters regarding expectations, performance, criteria for their evaluation
    Reduce turnover with a pay rate consistent with job requirements. Many states are discussing raising minimum wage to almost what we make. How does that make us feel when our 8 years in college in valued as much as a WalMart greeter or someone who flips burgers? And at least they get 40 hours a week. Even full time, most they barely make enough to live and have an opportunity for advancement if they stick it out. A high turnover rate adversely affects our accuracy and the ability of the SLs and CSLs to do their jobs because they are constantly babysitting and training two or three new employees instead of helping seasoned raters assess more difficult scores to fine tune the scoring of the best of them and hence the whole program? Why keep hiring tons of people when the good people can't get enough work and fill your rosters with trainees while your experts are sitting at home home knitting scarves? Okay, that's my rant. And a lot of other folks', too.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Safe but almost too safe

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - IT Consultant in Princeton, NJ
    Former Employee - IT Consultant in Princeton, NJ

    I worked at Educational Testing Service

    Pros

    Very nice people work there. Once you are there it is a secure position. There is some training available. As others have said, there is usually a good work/life balance. There are some very smart people hidden there.
    Great benefits. They seem to really want to look out for your family.

    Cons

    Very slow moving. It seems their answer to innovation is to acquire other companies, rather than to empower their employees to innovate. Very hard to get a change done. Multiple layers of management. I had always assumed working in govt would be similar. The flip side of it being a stable company was that there were people there that hadn't upped their skills for a while and they were there because the system let them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Put into practice what comes from the top but gets lost in the layers - allow people to innovate. Take away bureaucracy.

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    ETS - great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Software Developer in Princeton, NJ
    Current Employee - Lead Software Developer in Princeton, NJ

    I have been working at Educational Testing Service full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    * Not high pressure environment
    * Good for tech people, ETS is into state-of-the-art in technology
    * High retention company, many employees have worked for 10 years or longer
    * Lovely campus (only Princeton campus) with natural forest and stream and many walking trails
    * One of the best benefits in the industry
    * Excellent 403(b) and also another independent retirement plan

    Cons

    * Not the best paymaster compared to other employers in the area
    * Many inefficient and half-baked IT processes bog down developers to some extent
    * Cafeteria not that good :-)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Not terrible, not great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - N/A in Princeton, NJ
    Current Employee - N/A in Princeton, NJ

    I have been working at Educational Testing Service full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Most years there are early release Friday's during summer months. Environment is very friendly in some departments, others can be quite restrictive without reason, but that really applies to only a few of areas.

    Cons

    It's a not for profit, so except for IT and Research, pay is typically below average. Performance increases are skimpy unless you're a favorite.

    Human resources (SWS) is slanted towards management. If you don't want your boss to know you're unhappy, you better believe the department head will get a call before your back at your desk.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you want your staff to create objectives each year that show progress in their jobs, give them opportunities not restrictions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Many different opportunities.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Princeton, NJ
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Princeton, NJ

    I have been working at Educational Testing Service full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    ETS has a great reputation, great benefits, and you can definitely have a good work/life balance.

    Cons

    There are some management issues and no action taken for poor performance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Less micromanaging.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Supervisor in Princeton, NJ
    Former Employee - Supervisor in Princeton, NJ

    I worked at Educational Testing Service full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    They care about work life balance

    Cons

    Their technology needs improvement. Some of it is outdated.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Efficient, friendly

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assessment Specialist in Princeton, NJ
    Former Employee - Assessment Specialist in Princeton, NJ

    I worked at Educational Testing Service full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Learning opportunities, good colleagues, many training programs, decent benefits, reasonable management, beautiful campus, short commute for me, growing, competitive in the market place

    Cons

    Lack of advancement opportunities, salary not very high, sometimes overworked, most people work in cubicles, poor HR department,

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

Educational Testing Service Photos

Outside Messick Hall, one of the many buildings at ETS headquarter offices located in Lawrence Township, Mercer County, New Jersey (Photo by Coolcaesar - available under CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0 & GFDL, v1.9)
Pleasanton Campus

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