The National Institute for Testing and Evaluation was established in 1981 by the Association of University Heads in Israel in order to assist in the admissions and placement process for applicants to Israel's institutions of higher education.
Before the establishment of NITE, each university's admissions department administered the institution's own entrance examination, and anyone applying to more than one university was required to take separate tests for each one.
The establishment of NITE made it easier for students to apply to more than one educational institution. It brought together experts in testing and evaluation in order to construct a unified, professional, efficient, and fair test battery that would predict success in academic studies, and supplied academic institutions with professional tools for the admission and placement of applicants in various fields of study. Thus, the establishment of NITE improved and streamlined the higher education admissions procedure.
In the years since its establishment, NITE has won recognition as one of the world's leading institutions in the development of tools for testing and evaluation, especially admissions, placement, and accreditation tests for institutions of higher education.
NITE is a registered non-profit organization whose members are the founding universities: Ben‑Gurion University of the Negev, Bar‑Ilan University, the University of Haifa, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, and the Technion.
As a public, non-profit organization, NITE is funded entirely by the fees charged for the tests that it administers and its other activities, without support from any outside body.
Objectives of the Organization
- Development and administration of test batteries for the admission and selection of applicants for study in institutions of higher education.
- Provision of consultation and assessment, admissions, evaluation, and selection services to institutions of higher education and other organizations, with the aim of enhancing the knowledge and experience of these organizations.
- Research on topics related to admissions and selection systems in the aforesaid institutions and organizations.
- Research on other topics related to institutions of higher education.
- Provision of services to the members of the organization, as determined by the Board of Directors in accordance with the policies of the General Meeting.
In addition to these objectives, NITE aims to advance the fields of testing, assessment, and evaluation in Israel.
NITE's managing and consulting bodies
NITE is assisted by a number of steering committees that guide its activities.
- International Scientific Council: Committee members are leading experts in psychometrics from Israel and abroad. The committee's purpose is to review, monitor, and optimize NITE's professional activity. The committee convenes for three days of discussions once every three years.
- Forum of Heads of Admissions Departments: Committee members are the head of NITE’s operational division and representatives of the applications, entrance, and admissions departments of NITE's six founding universities. The committee interfaces between NITE and the educational institutions and assists with the planning and preparation for each administration of the PET.
- Computerization Committee: Committee members are experts in the field of computerization. NITE's CEO convenes the committee, and senior representatives of NITE's information systems division participate in its discussions. The committee advises NITE on issues of computerization, technology, communication, and data security.
- MITAM Steering Committee: Committee members are representatives of educational institutions that grant post-graduate degrees in psychology. The committee determines the procedures and guiding principles for MITAM (the Entrance Test for Advanced Degrees in Psychology) and approves its final version.
- Committee of the NITE Foundation: Committee members include three senior researchers from NITE and two representatives of the academic community, all of whom are knowledgeable and experienced in psychometrics research and educational assessment and evaluation. The committee is responsible for management of the NITE Foundation, determines grant policy, issues requests for grant proposals, and, each year, appoints the members of the Foundation's assessment committee.
Fields of Activity
NITE provides a wide range of services in the field of assessment and evaluation, including the following services:
- Development and administration of assessment and evaluation tools
NITE develops and administers assessment tools and batteries for institutions of higher education and other bodies. The development of assessment tools includes the writing, translating, and editing of the tests; experimental administration of the questions and tasks; analysis of the results; and production of the final version. The administration of assessment tools includes managing the registration and assignment process, producing test booklets or computerized versions of the tests, determining accommodations for populations with special needs, administering the tests, scoring the tests, conducting quality control, and reporting scores.
NITE takes the lead in most innovations in Israel in the fields of assessment and evaluation, such as computerized and adaptive tests, tests to diagnose learning disabilities, behavioral simulations, and computerized analysis of hand-written materials.
- Implementation of assessment and evaluation projects
NITE implements a range of projects in the field of assessment and evaluation for a number of bodies, including academic institutions, government ministries, non-profit organizations, and public and private institutions. Read more
- Research in selection, placement, accreditation, and evaluation
NITE is active in ongoing applied research dedicated to assessing the quality of the tests for which it is responsible. This includes quality assurance and studies of validity and fairness. In addition, NITE conducts theoretical and applied studies in the field of assessment and evaluation in order to broaden knowledge in the field. Read more
- Consulting services in the field of assessment and evaluation
NITE provides consulting services in the field of assessment and evaluation to a number of institutions in Israel and abroad, including academic institutions, government ministries, non-profit organizations, and public and private institutions. Read more
- Instruction and training in the field of assessment and evaluation
NITE provides a venue for hands-on experience for students studying for advanced degrees in assessment and evaluation, offers certificate courses in psychometrics, and conducts ongoing workshops on test writing for the faculty of institutions of higher education. NITE's experts teach courses on assessment and evaluation in institutions of higher education and supervise students writing seminar papers and post-graduate theses.
- Contributions to the scientific community
Experts from NITE lecture in academic forums, publish studies in scientific journals, present their research at scientific conferences in Israel and abroad, and participate in international initiatives. They are members of professional committees in Israel, the managing councils of international organizations, and the boards of international scientific journals.
NITE has approximately 135 employees, including 10 psychometricians with doctorates, most of whom have 30 or more years' experience in the field; 30 test developers; 12 researchers, most of whom have masters' degrees and expertise in a variety of fields; and 15 software experts. NITE's staff also includes experts in the diagnosis of learning disabilities; quality assurance personnel; editors and translators; and management, finance, HR, logistics, and maintenance staff.
Dr. Anat Ben-Simon
Director of NITE
Education: BA in statistics and psychology, MA in clinical psychology, PhD in psychometrics
Fields of expertise: Technological applications in assessment and evaluation, assessment of linguistic functions, diagnosis of learning disabilities
Additional information: Dr. Ben-Simon has been a lecturer and thesis supervisor in institutions of higher education for many years. She previously served as chair of the Israeli Psychometric Association, and today she is President of the International Association for Educational Assessment (IAEA).
Dr. Avi Allalouf
Deputy Director and Director of Scoring
Responsible for coordinating interactions with external organizations, and operating evaluation centers and the NITE Foundation. In addition, responsible for managing the process of calculating scores for NITE tests and for calibrating and reporting scores to institutions of higher education and examinees. Responsible for overseeing certificate courses in psychometrics offered by NITE.
Education: BA and MA in psychology, PhD in psychometrics
Fields of expertise: Calculation and calibration of scores, quality assurance, differential functions of test questionnaires, adaptation of tests for different languages, tests and society
Additional information: Dr. Allalouf has taught for many years at the Academic College of Tel Aviv‑Yaffo. He served as chair of the Israeli Psychometric Association and editor of the International Journal of Testing.
Dr. Ruth Fortus
Head of Test Development
Responsible for development of the Psychometric Entrance Test (PET) and its translation into five languages, and for development of tests such as AMIR, YAEL, MEIMAD, and RAMA.
Education: BA in psychology, MA in clinical psychology, PhD in education
Fields of expertise: Language evaluation, comprehensive test development
Additional information: Dr. Fortus has taught a year course in language evaluation at an institution of higher education and has conducted workshops throughout Israel on developing test questionnaires. She participated in the ECOSTAR project, which produced a CEFR-based framework for teaching English in institutions of higher education in Israel.
Mr. Nimrod Eshet
Director of Operations
Responsible for operational system management for the tests administered by NITE in Israel and abroad.
Education: BA in cognitive sciences and in Arabic language and literature; certificate studies in psychometrics
Fields of expertise: Developing test items for a wide range of open-ended and closed-ended tests; writing and editing texts; organizing and administering tests
Additional information: Mr. Eshet worked in NITE’s Test Development Department, as a team head on the Verbal Reasoning Domain staff. Subsequently, he served as Director of Customer Relations.
Mr. Nadav Blum
Director of Information Systems
Education: BA in computer science and psychology, MA in criminology
Fields of expertise: Application development, computerized tests, database design
Additional information: Mr. Blum previously served as head of NITE's Computerized Testing Unit.
Mrs. Esther Cohen
Director of Customer Relations
Responsible for providing user-friendly, direct responses to members of the public requesting information about tests or submitting complaints about the service they received from NITE.
Education: BA in economics and political science; continuing education courses in psychology
Fields of expertise: Responding to public inquiries orally and in writing; conducting comprehensive investigations into objections, complaints, and procedures; managing communications with relevant parties both within and outside of NITE.
Additional information: Mrs. Cohen previously worked in NITE's Special Test Accommodations Unit, where she responded to inquiring from examinees with physical and learning disabilities. She developed a proficiency in conducting difficult and complex conversations. Mrs. Cohen is also responsible for managing the content of NITE's website.
Dr. Tzur Karelitz
Research & Development Director
Responsible for managing and conducting studies related to NITE’s activities and to advancing new projects. Supervising NITE’s Program Evaluation unit and Natural Language Processing unit. Chief Psychometrician for the Analysis and Reporting unit for the National Authority for Educational Assessment and Evaluation (RAMA).
Education: BA in management and psychology, MA in applied statistics and quantitative psychology, PhD in psychometrics
Fields of expertise: Psychometric models, test questionnaire analysis, scoring and calibration, validation, agreement among evaluators, classroom assessment, higher education admissions, program evaluation.
Additional information: Dr. Karelitz previously held positions in research institutes in the U.S. where he was active in the development of assessment tools for educational frameworks, research on educational programs and professional training for teachers. Today he lectures in the Psychology faculty at the Hebrew University.
Dr. Avital Moshinsky
Director, Marom – Assessment and Admissions Centers
Responsible for the development and administration of entrance tests for medical schools, consultant to outside bodies on developing selection systems for evaluating non-cognitive variables.
Education: BA in psychology and biology, MA in clinical-medical psychology, PhD in cognitive psychology on decision-making under conditions of uncertainty
Fields of expertise: Development of computerized and adaptive tests; development of assessment centers; measurement of non-cognitive variables; validity, reliability, and fairness of non-cognitive tests
Additional information: Dr. Moshinsky is an experienced clinical psychologist. Previously, she taught at the Hebrew University and the David Yellin Academic College of Education and served on the audit committee of the Israeli Psychometric Association.
Dr. Joel Rapp
Senior Researcher and head of the Computerized Testing Unit
Conducting research in educational and psychological assessment (psychometrics) and developing psychometric methodologies; Responsible for developing, operating, and integrating computerized tests.
Education: B.A. in psychology and statistics, M.A. in psychological research, Ph.D. in cognitive psychology.
Fields of Expertise: development of tests of cognitive skills and educational achievements, development and administration of adaptive computerized tests, scoring and equating, test theories, test translation and adaptation, international and national large scale assessment programs (development and administration), test fairness, standard setting, gender gaps.
Additional information: Dr. Rapp was among the founders of the National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education in Israel, and served as the director of the assessment development department from 2006-2018. Dr. Rapp lectured at the Hebrew University and the Open University. He was the Chairman of the Israeli Psychometric Association from 2014–2015 and and he was granted the Thomas Alexander Fellowship at OECD in autumn 2014. Dr. Rapp is a fellow of the Taub Center education policy program.