Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan

NTA will work with Government of India, UGC, AICTE, IITs, Universities, School Boards and state governments towards research and develop tests for effective assessment of the target population. When fully operational, NTA will develop, administer and mark about 150 lakh candidates annually across the country and abroad in more than 500 cities and 5000 test centres. The NTAs tests will be scientifically prepared based on rigorous research and will be of the highest quality so that the user institutions can make well informed decisions.
NTA will conduct research and design assessments for improving selections by fair, valid and reliable instruments, expanding teaching and learning opportunities and ushering in an era of scientific testing in the country.
NTA will work in the following four areas of expertise:

  • Research
  • Test Development
  • Test Administration
  • Test Marking
Commitment to Research

NTA will have the highest level of research commitment in the field of scientific testing, and it will allocate and invest in human resources towards research. NTA will be a pioneer in India in psychometric based scientific research of tests, development of assessments and their computer based delivery. NTA will also conduct policy studies and lead discussions in the areas of:

  • educational achievement across States and achievement gap
  • teacher quality and certification
  • student and teacher training needs
  • educational reform
A New Generation of Tests

Given the vast scale of the country and the sheer diversity of numbers, it is no wonder that the traditional testing method is on its way out as redundant and collosal waste of resources while being replaced with the computer based test which is more transparent, hassle free and scalable.

The increased penetrations of computers and internet access has created an environment conducive to CBT and its scalable character adds to its convenience.

NTA researchers will pioneer, in Indian context, computer-based testing, which will permit innovative test items, more than once testing for JEE, NEET, etc examinations, convenient scheduling and faster marking and score reporting for students. CBT is the need of the hour as it grapples and overcomes the key challenges of a paper pen test: paper leakage, impersonation and logistics.

NTA will also introduce research based and advanced versions of computer-based tests, including multimedia questions and simulations, thereby will move beyond the boundaries of traditional paper-and-pencil tests.

Innovative Technologies for Learning

NTA researchers will use advanced technologies and advances in cognitive science to

  • explore new approaches to understanding and measuring intellectual and emotional abilities, and
  • better integrate assessment and instruction.

Based on research in the area of natural language processing, NTA will also develop its own web-based application that will evaluate a student's writing skills and provide instant score reporting and diagnostic feedback to both the instructor and student

Research Capabilities and Services

NTA will have distinguished research scientists, psychometricians and assessment experts as research staff. They will be hired on contract/ secondment basis from leading educational institutions. It is also planned to call faculties of leading institutes to join the NTA during their holidays to train the young professionals. The research staff will work on:

  • creating fair, accurate and useful tests
  • promote innovation to improve assessments, and thereby teaching and learning
  • improve methods and processes for writing tests
  • enhance use of IT for educational testing
  • provides input for education policy
The research will focus on the following three core areas:
  • i) Assessment Development and Analysis

    NTA will develop and analyze all the tests assigned to it in a standardised scientific manner. These tests will be of the highest quality and will be fair, valid, and reliable and can be equated across forms (various administrations) and years. For this the following capabilities will be developed:

    Developing Content for Fair, Valid and Reliable Tests

    NTA will develop, analyze and validate all content according to each testing program’s objectives and specifications and according to guidelines that are based on recognized standards in the field of educational measurement.

    Using Evidence-centered Design

    NTA will design tests by starting from the requirements / claims of the user institutions and the knowledge and skills of the candidates. The tests items will then be designed to yield evidence supporting those requirements/ claims. This approach will also help in creating assessments that are accessible for students with special needs

    Equating, Scaling and Scoring Tests Accurately and Reliably

    NTA will use, common psychometric methods, such as Item Response Theory (IRT) for improving the reliability of test results. NTA will create in-house highly-qualified psychometricians and research scientists with vast experience for not only conducting the foundational work to develop methodologies, but also in implementing them in equating, scaling and scoring tests. Such assessments will include selected response items (traditional multiple-choice tests) as well as constructed-response questions ― (items that elicit open-ended responses, such as short written answers, long writing tasks and samples/speech). NTA will develop expertise in scoring these questions using both human evaluators and automated scoring capabilities, using applications developed globally.

    Analyzing and Managing Complex Data

    Assessments, in addition to measuring individual skills, can measure collective progress toward state or national policy goals. NTA will create state-of-the art data analysis and management capabilities including the procedures, software and systems necessary to perform complex analysis of assessments on any scale.

    These capabilities may be used by the Government of India, State Governments, UGC, AICTE, State Boards, etc. NTA will also be able to develop content and analyse data for any national survey that the government wishes to do on a large scale and to examine the performance of the nation’s educational system as a whole.

    In collaboration with the State Governments, the NTA will host half yearly training to disseminate and advance the knowledge behind these capabilities.

    Promoting Fair and Valid Use of Test Scores

    NTA’s operational testing capabilities will also include resources designed to make tests that result in meaningful scores for all test takers. NTA will raise awareness about the valid interpretations of a test’s results, ensuring that tests cover the appropriate amount and scope of content.

  • ii) Assessment Research

    NTA will engage in research to innovate and improve assessments. NTA’s research team will contribute in the field of educational measurement through research in the following areas:

    Developing Natural Language Processing Applications

    Natural Language Processing (NLP) has many applications. It is especially useful to develop automated scoring applications. One of these applications will be in developing anautomated scoring engine.

    Reliably and Validly Measuring LIfe Skills

    Some of NTA’s research capabilities will be dedicated to identifying and investigating areas that are not well represented in large-scale testing programs. NTA will look for valid and reliable methods of measuring Life Skills on a large scale.

    Research on Understanding and Enhancing Teaching

    NTA will also use its research capabilities to contribute to a new generation of assessments that can help support effective teaching at critical points throughout teachers' careers.

    Understanding Teacher Effectiveness

    NTA’s researchers will also work to develop and validate measures of teaching effectiveness. Research in this area will include expertise in classroom observation, classroom assignments, and measures of teaching knowledge.

    Integrating Assessment and Classroom Instruction

    NTA will also investigate questions such as these: What must change about schools' approaches to assessment in order to better promote quality and equity? How can teachers use assessment more effectively? Is it possible to better align assessment with classroom instruction?

  • iii) Policy Research

    Promoting Effective and Equitable Education Policy

    NTA will also conduct research on and evaluation of public policy-related issues in education in order to:

    • address topics that are prominent on the agendas of Government of India, and state governments
    • apply research findings to craft policy and program ideas for educational improvement
    • publish and disseminate reports that increase understanding of education challenges and promote improvement of education and education policies
Test Development

NTA will be the national premier agency in standardized testing which will provide fair, valid and reliable assessments that produce meaningful results. Standardized testing with a high degree of quality assurance, will eliminate bias and prevent unfair advantages by testing the same or similar information under the same testing conditions.
Standardized tests will allow the comparison of test takers from different areas of the state and the country. NTA will develop well-designed tests which will provide results that can be used in a variety of meaningful ways, such as:

Purpose Tests results can be used to
Entrance Exam Inform decisions about selection of candidates from a cohort for entrance to an educational institution
Eligibility Verify whether someone has the necessary knowledge and skills to be a qualified teacher or to be given fellowship in a profession
Curriculum-based End-of-Course Testing Determine whether students have mastered the objectives of the course taken
Exit Testing Find out whether students have learned the amount necessary to graduate from a level of education
Employment Inform decisions on the hiring, placement and promotion of potential and current employees
Like skills, Emotional capability Provide end to end self administered tests followed by a descriptive report
Bespoke Assessments

NTA will work closely with other bodies and deliver effective and objective tests suited to the organisation.The cycle will evolve from conception through creation, administration, delivery, marking and compiling results to creating exceptional tests designed scientifically and delivered efficiently. NTA’s approach will include, but not be limited to-

  • Conceptualisation
  • Creating tests
  • Moderating and standardising
  • Delivering
  • Marking
  • Compiling and evaluating results
  • Addressing security concerns
  • Researching
  • Feedback looping
  • Reformulating
  • Evaluating and addressing gaps
  • Communicating with the stakeholders

Leading from the front

As the country's largest testing agency, NTA will develop, administer and mark/score more than 150 lakh candidates in various tests annually in more than 500 cities at more than 5,000 locations across the country and abroad. In some of its tests, a total of about 15 lakh students will appear; 1.5 lakh appearing simultaneously.

NTA will develop robust process for creating, developing and administering tests. The process of NTA will be exact with multiple checks and balances while paying attention to detail.

NTA Approach to Testing

NTA will design tests that help to bring in objectivity, fairness and transparency in testing.NTA is now the country's largest educational testing organization, and NTA will attempt through rigorous research, to create high-quality tests that:

  • Accurately measure student performance
  • Do not disadvantage any group of test takers due to differences in their caste, creed, ethnicity, gender or disability

NTA’s work as pioneers in test development and administration will also be to address concerns of all stakeholders so as to help parents, test takers and others understand the complex testing process.

Test Administration

Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) is a national level entrance examination for entry into management programmes. Till 2018, it was conducted by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) every year as per the directions of Ministry of Education (MoE), Government of India. The Test will now be conducted by the NTA. The CMAT is a three hour computer based online test which is conducted in a single session to evaluate the candidate's ability across various segments like Quantitative Technique, Logical Reasoning, Language Comprehension and General Awareness.

This test facilitates Institutions to select suitable graduate candidates for admission in all Management programs.

The CMAT score is accepted by all AICTE-Approved Institutions/University Departments/Constituent Colleges/Affiliated Colleges. The CMAT 2018 will be conducted on 20th January 2018.

Eligibility for CMAT 2019
  • Applicant must be a citizen of India.
  • Graduates in any discipline can apply for CMAT exam.
  • Final year students of Graduate Courses (10+2+3) whose result will be declared before commencement of admission for academic year 2019-20 can also apply for CMAT online exam.
Test Marking

GRADUATE PHARMACY APTITUDE TEST (GPAT) is a national level entrance examination for entry into M.Pharm programmes. Till 2018, it was conducted by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) every year as per the directions of Ministry of Education (MoE), Government of India. The Test will now be conducted by the NTA.

This test facilitates institutions to select suitable Pharmacy graduates for admission into the Master's (M.Pharm) program. The GPAT is a three hour computer based online test which is conducted in a single session. The GPAT score is accepted by all AICTE-Approved Institutions/University Departments/Constituent Colleges/Affiliated Colleges. A few scholarships and other financial assistance in the field of Pharmacy are also given on the basis of the GPAT score.

Eligibility for GPAT 2019
  • Applicant must be a citizen of India.
  • They must be Bachelor's degree holders in Pharmacy (4 years after 10+2, including lateral entry candidates).
  • Those who are in the final year of B. Pharmacy course are also eligible for appearing in GPAT exam.
  • B.Tech (Pharmaceutical and fine chemical technology) / Equivalent Students are not eligible to appear for GPAT examination.