FAQ - the Psychometric Entrance Test

How are the administration dates selected?

Thousands of examinees register for each administration date, and space has to be found for every single one to take the test. NITE rents test halls and classrooms in universities, colleges, and schools - spaces which are in use from day to day by students at these institutions. This means that the administration dates are constrained by the vacation schedules of the educational institutions, and are usually set for days when there are no classes, such as semester breaks or holidays.

How many test administration dates per year are there?

At the beginning of 2018 the number of test administration dates per year was reduced from five to four, but at the same time the restriction on taking the test on two immediately consecutive dates was removed. The four administration dates in each year fall in spring, summer, autumn and winter. The process of selecting the dates is constrained by many factors, for example the academic calendar. Currently there are no plans to add additional administration dates during the year: new test papers have to be developed for each date and adding extra administration dates would require an increase to the budget, which in turn would force NITE to raise the test fee.

Why is the registration deadline more than a month before the test?

Preparation for each test administration date is a highly complex process, including reserving test halls, placing examinees at the test locations closest to their homes, printing an individual answer sheet for each examinee, printing thousands of test booklets, packaging booklets and answer sheets for each test hall, hiring proctors, etc. Since it takes a long time to make sure that the preparation for the test is performed to the highest standards and without errors, NITE needs to know the number of examinees taking the test and their preferred locations at least a month in advance.

However, because emergency situations can arise, NITE permits “late registration” and even “emergency registration” (registration on the same day as the test itself). The test fee is higher for these types of registration, because of the additional last-minute arrangements required, so they should be avoided unless there is no alternative.

How do I register for the test?

There are two methods to register for the Psychometric Entrance Test:

· Online registration on this website at this link

· Manual registration using the printed form. The form is available at branches of Steimatzky and Tzomet Sfarim book stores, or on request from the Registration Center by telephone (02‑675955 extension 1)

I want to sit the test on the next administration date, but I missed the registration deadline. What should I do?

You can try to make a late registration up to eight days before the test administration date. You will need to apply to the Registration Center by telephone to 02‑675955 (extension 1), inquire if there are any places available and find out the registration procedure. In this case the test fee will be 150% of the regular fee, and you will not be able to choose the test region. There is no late registration for tests with special test accommodations. Further details can be found here.

I registered for the test but I want to postpone to a later administration date. What should I do?

You can do this by logging on to the website, or applying to the Registration Center by telephone to 02‑675955 (extension 1). If the request reaches us before the registration deadline for the test you registered for, the service will be free of charge. For a change of date after the registration deadline there will be a service charge of 18% of the test fee in effect on the day of the request. An examinee who fails to attend the test can make a change of date on the website starting from ten days after the test. Further details can be found here.

I registered for the test but decided to cancel, and I want to receive a refund of the fee. What should I do?

You should apply to the registration center by email, zimunim@nite.org.il, by fax to 02‑6759538, or by registered mail. The test fee will be refunded, minus a service charge to cover registration. As a rule, if the cancellation request reaches us before the registration deadline for the test, a service charge of 15% of the test fee will be deducted. If the request reaches us within three months after the test registration deadline, a service charge of 30% of the test fee will be deducted.

Can I take the test on two successive administration dates? Is there any limit to the number of times I can take the test?

Yes, you can take the Psychometric Entrance Test on any date when it is administered. There is no limit to the number of times one person can take the test.

I lost my confirmation of registration and payment.

If you registered on the website, a confirmation will have been sent at the end of the registration process to the email address you entered. If your email address has changed in the meanwhile, you should update the details on the website and request a copy of the confirmation from the Customer Relations Bureau. The confirmation will be sent only to the updated email address appearing on the website. If you can’t find the confirmation, you can request a hard copy by clicking “Contact Us”.

I have not yet received the invitation to the test (or I have lost it). How can I know where and when to appear?

After the end of registration examinees will receive their placement details by email or Israel Post, and you may also view them by logging on to the website and clicking on “Placement Details”. It is recommended to confirm the up-to-date placement details on the website before the test day.

I am not happy with my test placement. Can I change it?

Test placement is performed randomly on the basis of the details you entered in the registration form. When registering you can select the test date, test language, and the region where you want to take the test. There is no way to reserve a specific day or campus in advance, since until the end of the registration period we know neither the exact number of examinees nor the number of rooms available at each campus. Nevertheless, if you want to check out the possibility of changing your assigned test location, you can do so during the week following the notification of placement details to examinees by email, if there are places available. Log on to the website and click on “Placement Details” or apply to the Registration Center by telephone (02‑6759555 extension 1). Changes will only be possible if there are free places at the requested campus on the requested day. There is no possibility of selecting a specific test room.

When the test administration date includes two days, how can I ensure that I will take the test on a specific day?

When a test administration date includes two days, there is no possibility of reserving a specific day in advance. You might be better off registering for a different date where the choice of day is less crucial for you. During the week following the notification of  placement details to examinees by email, you can change the day by logging on to the website and clicking on “Placement Details”, or by applying to the Registration Center by telephone (02‑6759555 extension 1). Changes will only be permitted if there are free places on the requested date.

Can I request to take the test in a room with desks and chairs instead of university-style chairs?

Most of the test halls available to NITE in educational institutions are furnished with university-style chairs. Candidates are allocated to campuses and test halls by a random process, and there is no possibility of requesting a change of room. When taking the test in a university-style chair, we recommend placing the answer sheet on the writing board with the test booklet on top of it. When answering each question, move the booklet far enough to expose the corresponding place on the answer sheet. Additional items can usually be placed on adjacent chairs.

Examinees with medical limitations or exceptional physical dimensions that prevent them from sitting the test in a university-style chair can submit a request to take the test in a room with desks and chairs to the Special Test Accommodations unit before the registration deadline for the test. The request should include up-to-date medical documentation, as specified in the instructions on the Special Test Accommodations web page.

How are the test fees calculated?

Every year about 70,000 candidates sit the Psychometric Entrance Test - between 8,000 and 25,000 on each administration date. It is important to realize that NITE is a non-profit organization with no external support, and all its funding comes from the fees paid by examinees. The fee charged for taking the test goes in its entirety towards covering the expenses of producing and administering the test. NITE’s policy reflects the trade-off between the desire to provide examinees with the best, most respectful and fairest service possible and the desire to keep the test fee to a minimum.

The production of important tests like the Psychometric Entrance Test is very expensive, since it necessitates meticulous attention to the reliability, validity, and fairness of the test. The process of developing questions involves many experts and comprises several stages: each question is written, submitted to peer review, modified, incorporated in a trial section in a test, and undergoes statistical analysis of its quality and difficulty. Some questions fall on the wayside during this process and never appear in a real test section. The process of compiling the test sections also has to meet many requirements and constraints: there has to be an appropriate balance of easier and harder questions, a range of subject matter and question types, etc.

The test sections are collected into completed test forms according to various criteria and constraints. Then the forms are translated and adapted into five languages: Arabic, Russian, English, French, and Spanish. Most forms are also adapted for examinees with special needs, for example those with vision and hearing impairments, physical limitations, or learning deficiencies.

After NITE finishes developing the test, it prints tens of thousands of copies of the test booklets, transports them throughout the whole country, pays rental fees to the educational institutions for the use of the test halls, and pays salaries to the test proctors and writing task evaluators. In addition NITE develops and maintains complex computerized systems including the registration system, the automated system for scanning the answer sheets and calculating scores, as well as database management and security systems. Finally, NITE operates a continuous battery of research dedicated to ensuring the quality of the tests and the evaluation process.

I lost my ID. What should I do?

Israeli citizens without an ID (Teudat Zehut) can use a valid Israeli passport, a valid Israeli driving license, or a military ID card.

Examinees who are not Israeli citizens need to register for the test with a valid foreign passport, and confirm their identity on the day of the test with the same passport.

What items may not be brought into the test hall?

It is forbidden to bring any of the following items into the test hall: earplugs connected by a cord or a headband (plain foam earplugs are permitted), any type of electronic device (telephones, computers, audio players, cameras, smart watches, electronic dictionaries, calculators, etc.), paper, books, dictionaries, highlighters, or watches that beep.

What must I bring to the test? What items are recommended to bring to the test?

You must bring: the identity document with which you registered for the test (without this you will not be able to take the test), two pencils, an eraser and a pencil sharpener. It is recommended to bring also the invitation to the test (to help you remember the time and location of the test), food and drink (but avoid packaging that makes a noise when opened), and appropriate clothing, taking into account that the test hall may be warmer or colder than expected.

Can I use a stopwatch during the test? Why was the time I measured with my stopwatch different from the time that the proctors measured with an ordinary watch?

It is not permitted to use a watch that makes any kind of noise. You can only use a stopwatch if it operates silently.

The proctors time the test continuously without a break from the beginning of the first section to the end of the test. If examinees use a stopwatch, resetting it at the end of each section and starting again at the beginning of the next section, the time taken to reset and restart their stop watch will cause an accumulated offset between their timing and the proctors’ watch which is running continuously.

Why are the test conditions not identical in every test hall?

Since NITE rents the test halls from many educational institutions, we are not always able to determine which halls and classrooms will be used for the test or the conditions prevailing in the locations. For example, most classrooms in institutions of higher education are furnished with chairs with writing boards, and only a few have regular desks, and NITE cannot determine which will be used for the test. NITE also has no control over the level of maintenance in the classrooms, the air-conditioning or ventilation systems in use in them, or the ambient noise levels. At every test date there are thousands of examinees or more, so it is impossible to adapt the test conditions perfectly to the preferences of every individual examinee.

Sometimes examinees complain that the test halls are too hot or too cold, too noisy or otherwise uncomfortable. Moreover, sometimes examinees in the same room have conflicting requirements: in summer there are sometimes lightly-dressed examinees who say the room is too cold and ask for the air conditioning to be turned off, while others wearing warm clothes say the room is too hot and ask for the air conditioning to turned up. Similarly, sometimes some examinees want the window opened for ventilation, while others object because they are bothered by noise coming through the open window from outside.

NITE makes every effort to ensure the best possible conditions for every examinee: it confirms that the test halls meet the requirements, notifies the test dates to the educational institutions in order to limit noise near the classrooms, and strives to deal promptly and efficiently with exceptional circumstances arising during the test which might disturb examinees’ concentration. NITE also thoroughly investigates complaints related to the conditions in the test halls and in the event that complaints prove justified offers an appropriate professional solution to the examinees affected. In any case we recommend being prepared for every eventuality in advance: bring earplugs and extra clothes, and arrive early for the test so that you can find the test hall and not be late for the start of the test.

Why are most examinees given a university-style chair with a writing board, and only a few get a desk and a chair?

Most of the test halls are furnished with the type of chair with writing boards used in most classes and examinations in institutions of higher education. In order to ensure fairness, NITE allocates examinees to classes by a computerized random system. Research that we have conducted shows that seating arrangements do not affect the test scores.

Sometimes examinees allocated to a chair with writing board ask to bring in a desk from another room. We cannot allow this, since it will interfere with the level playing field for all examinees - not everybody has access to desks, not every class has room to bring in desks, etc.

I am left handed. What should I do if I was allocated to a test hall with university-style chairs with writing boards?

Every test hall with university-style chairs includes chairs for the left-handed. The instructions to the proctors include providing appropriate conditions for left-handed examinees who make themselves known before the start of the test. Make sure to apply to the proctors when you arrive at the test hall and ask to be seated on one of the available chairs with a left-handed writing board.

Can I take a bathroom break during the test?

You can only take a bathroom break if you receive permission from the proctors, and you will not be allocated any extra time. Since a proctor will have to accompany you to the bathroom, you will need to raise your hand and wait your turn. If you have a medical condition that requires frequent visits to the bathroom, you should apply to the special test accommodation unit before the registration deadline, and send up-to-date medical documentation, as specified in the guidelines for special test accommodations on the website.

What should I do if I am sick or feel unwell on the day of the test?

If you feel that you will have difficulty in realizing your potential because of your state of health on the day of the test, it is best to postpone the test to a later date. Examinees who fail to attend can request a postponement on the website or by telephone, starting from ten days after the test. Examinees who feel unwell during the test may request permission to drop out by applying to one of the proctors. Examinees who carry on with the test in spite of feeling unwell will not be able to request any accommodations from NITE after the test.

What should I do if something is bothering me during the test?

You should raise your hand and wait for one of the proctors to approach you, and then explain the problem in a low voice. In some cases the proctors will be able to solve the problem on the spot, and in others they will need to consult with the NITE personnel responsible for the test. In any case you should continue to answer the questions, and not stop unless the proctors instruct you to do so.

If I notice during the test that I slipped up and marked the answers in the wrong places, what should I do?

You should raise your hand and wait for one of the proctors to approach you, and then explain the problem in a low voice. In some cases the proctors will be able to solve the problem on the spot, and in others they will need to consult with the NITE personnel responsible for the test. After discovering the mistake you should carry on entering the following answers in the correct place on the sheet, and not stop unless the proctors instruct you to do so.

Can I write the answers in the test booklet and copy them to the answer sheet afterwards?

No! The answers for each section of the test must be entered in the answer sheet within the time allocated for that section. If you do not manage to enter all the answers, you will not be given extra time to do so. It is completely forbidden to go back to an earlier section or skip ahead to a late section, even if you have time remaining at the end of the section.

Can I use a computer for the writing task? Can I make a rough draft?

The writing task must be written by hand and, like the answer sheets for the multiple-choice questions, in pencil. Examinees are provided with a ruled sheet of paper dedicated to writing their essay. There is a space in the test booklet which can be used for writing a rough draft. Using a computer for the writing task is permitted only to examinees granted special test accommodations (if they have difficulties that justify such an accommodation).

Why was the decision made to include a writing task in the Psychometric Entrance Test?

Since October 2012, all examinees in the Psychometric Entrance Test have taken the test in its current format, including the writing task. This includes examinees taking the test in every available language, not only in Hebrew, and those taking the test with special test accommodations. The inclusion of the writing task in the test reflects the importance attributed to writing ability by institutions of higher education. These institutions agree that the ability to express ideas in writing is a relevant for anyone participating in academic studies. Reading skills and writing skills complement one another, and both are essential to success in academic studies. Reading is the main channel for the acquisition of new knowledge, and through writing it is possible to summarize the material studied, apply it, and develop and express new ideas. It is also enables the completion of many educational assignments through which the students’ achievements can be assessed.

Is there a separate score for the writing task?

No. The writing task is one of the tasks in the Verbal Reasoning domain of the test, and its score is weighted together with the scores in the other tasks in the same domain (analogies, reading comprehension, etc.) to arrive at the Verbal Reasonings score. The writing task is weighted at 25% and the two multiple-choice sections are weighted at 75%.

How is the writing task scored?

Academic writing, as required in the Psychometric Entrance Test, can be evaluated on several different scales. The writing task in the test is evaluated on two scales: content and language. Content is evaluated according to criteria such as relevance of the content to the subject of the task, level of substantiation of the claims made, expression of critical thinking, and the degree of organization of the material. Language is evaluated according to criteria such as the clarity of the text, the suitability of the style for academic writing, correct grammar and syntax, precise expression, and richness of language.

The evaluators are carefully selected and undergo training at NITE. Each essay is evaluated independently by two evaluators, each of whom assigns two scores: one for content and one for language. The final score for the essay is the sum of the four scores assigned by the evaluators. If there is a wide gap between the scores given by the two evaluators, the essay is given to a third evaluator, and the final score is the sum of the third evaluator’s score and the closest to it of the scores given by the other evaluators.

Different people tend to write with widely differing styles and content. How is it possible to compare them?

Writers do indeed differ in taste, style, opinions and background, and these are reflected in their writing. Nevertheless, good academic writing meets the criteria listed in the answer to the question “How is the writing task scored?”, irrespective of these differences. The writing tasks are evaluated impartially and objectively, and the examinees’ ability to write academic material is evaluated without influence from irrelevant criteria.

In what languages can I write my essay?

Each examinee must write their essay in the language of the test for which he or she registered. If the test is in Hebrew, the essay must be in Hebrew; if the test is in Arabic, the essay must be in Arabic; if the test is in Russian the essay must be in Russian, and so on. An examinee who takes the combined-language test may write the essay in any of the languages appearing in the test: English, Russian, Spanish, German, Italian, Hungarian, Amharic, Portuguese or Dutch.

If an examinee writes an essay in any other language, the essay will be disqualified, and the writing task will be assigned the lowest possible score.

Is there a choice of writing tasks?

No. Research has shown that selecting a writing task from a number of possible alternatives takes up time at the expense of the task itself. What is more, the comparison between examinees who answered different writing tasks is less accurate. Since we believe that the disadvantages of offering a choice of writing tasks outweigh the advantages, no such choice is available.

What should I do if I have complaints about the manner in which the test I took was administered?

Examinees with comments, complaints or objections concerning the conduct of the test can apply in writing within a week of the test to the NITE Customer Relations Bureau, via the website, or by fax or mail. Every application will receive a personal response within 25 working days. NITE does not accept group complaints or complaints by telephone. Comments submitted on the feedback form are not a substitute for this process.

I wrote the answers in the test booklet, but I didn’t have time to copy them onto the answer sheet. Can you do that for me?

Nobody can fill out the answer sheet for you. The instruction booklet on the website and the instructions read out by the proctors before the test explain how to enter the answers during the test, and make it very clear that under no circumstances is it permitted for an examinee to go back to a section of the test after the allocated time. Since the test scores are relative, making allowances for examinees who fail to enter their answers during the allocated time period will interfere with the principle of fairness and discriminate against other examinees. Furthermore, all the test booklets are destroyed after the test and are no longer in our possession.

When are scores sent to institutions? When and how will I receive them?

NITE guarantees that the Psychometric Entrance Test scores will be sent to institutions and examinees after no more than 45 days. An updated forecast of the notification date appears on the Test Schedule on the website. Examinees receive their scores by email to the address entered when registering for the test.

I need my scores urgently! Can I fast-track the notification?

NITE has an obligation to send accurate, reliable, and comparable scores to institutions and examinees. The necessary calculations and checks take some time. Scores are calculated simultaneously for all examinees taking the test at a given administration date, and there is no way to report scores early for an individual examinee.

I didn’t receive my scores by email. What should I do?

You can update your email address by logging on to the website or by contacting the Scoring Department by telephone (02-6759555 extension 2) or by email to score@nite.org.il. You can also request the Scoring Department to send your scores to your email address. There is no charge for this service.

I am unable to log on to the website to see my scores.

If you click on “Forgot your password?” a new temporary password will be sent to you. You can choose whether to receive it by email or SMS.

How are the scores calculated?

The scores are calculated in a four-step process: 1) The raw score for the writing task is calculated; 2) The raw scores for the multiple-choice sections are calculated; 3) The scores in the three test domains are calculated and converted to a uniform scale. The score for each of the three domains is on a scale from 50 to 150; 4) The General Psychometric scores are calculated. These are averages of the per-domain scores based on different weightings. The final scores are on a scale from 200 to 800. See here for more details.

How is the score of the writing task evaluated?

Two evaluators check each writing task, working independently. The evaluators are carefully selected and undergo training at the National Institute for Testing and Evaluation. Each evaluator gives the task two scores: one for content and one for language, so the final score for the task is the total of four scores given by the evaluators. If there is a wide gap between the scores given by the two evaluators, the essay is given to a third evaluator, and the final score is the sum of the third evaluator’s score and the closest to it of the scores given by the other evaluators.

How are scores reported to institutions?

Scores are reported to Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Bar-Ilan University, Haifa University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv University and the Technion. You can request reporting to other institutions via the website. At the same time, scores are communicated to examinees by email.

How can I block my score from being reported to universities?

If you object to your test score being reported to one or more of the six universities who automatically receive score reports, you can exclude them from the report via the NITE website. Alternatively, you can send a request by email before the day of the test to the Scoring Department (score@nite.org.il) specifying which institutions you wish to include in or exclude from score reporting. Every request should specify your full name (first name and surname), ID number, and the name and date of the test.

I have been asked to report my score directly to an additional educational institution. How should I go about this?

If you want your score to be reported directly to an educational institution, log on to the website, select the requested test date from the list, click on “Reporting Scores to Institutions”, and then select “add/remove institution”. Alternatively, you can download the Reporting Scores to Institutions form and return it as an email attachment to score@nite.org.il or by fax to 02-6754765. If you do not receive an acknowledgement please contact the Scoring Department by telephone (02-6759555, extension 2) the day after submitting the request, to confirm that the request has been received. This service is free of charge. After a score report request is submitted, the scores will be available to institutions. The scores are retrieved by the institutions within seven working days. There is no possibility of shortening the reporting time. We are not able to report scores to educational institutions other than those appearing in the list on the website.

How are scores reported to examinees?

Scores will be sent to examinees by email within 45 days of the test or sent by Israel Post to the address given at registration. Scores will be reported by email only, unless you specified otherwise at registration, in which case it will be sent by Israel Post only.

You may also access the score on the website around the date that it is reported to academic institutions, after logging on with your personal information: ID number and password.

Within three months of the test date you may request an extra copy of your scores to be mailed to you free of charge. After this period NITE recommends ordering copies on the website. A fee of 39 shekels will be charged for each transcript. Log on to the website, click on “Scores” and then the link for your test date, and then click “Request Score Transcript”. You can pay by credit card on the website or with the downloadable Credit Card Payment form. Save the form to your computer and send it as an email attachment to score@nite.org.il or by fax to 02-6754765. Please contact the Scoring Department by telephone the day after submitting the request to confirm that the request has been received.

Can I check test scores from previous years?

You can download a PDF score report from the website (recommended).

You can also see scores from previous years by logging on to the website. You can also request the Scoring Department to send your scores to the email address you entered when registering for the test. This service is free of charge. If you forgot your password for the website, you can reset it by clicking on the link “Forgot Your Password?”

Can I appeal against the score I received?

The answer sheet is read by an optical scanner, and the process is extremely accurate. Nevertheless, NITE offers a reevaluation process. A reevaluation can be requested up to three months from the test date, on payment of a 60 shekel service charge. If it emerges from the reevaluation that an error occurred in reading the answer sheet, the service charge will be refunded in full. To pay the service charge, log onto the website, choose the relevant test date from the link “Test Details”, click on “Scores” and then choose “Request Reevaluation”.

Is it possible to have my writing task reevaluated?

No. The score of the writing task is assigned on the basis of two independent evaluations. If there is a wide gap between the different evaluations, a third evaluation is made by an additional evaluator. Therefore there is no need to request a reevaluation, since if there was any need for it it will already have been performed.

If I received a higher score in a test which I took in a previous year, which score will the universities take into account - the highest score or the most recent score?

Educational institutions are completely autonomous with respect to the selection and screening of candidates. NITE is not involved in their decisions. To the best of our knowledge, if a candidate takes the Psychometric Entrance Test more than once, the educational institutions normally take their highest score into account. However, you should confirm this with the admissions department of the institution where you registered.

Will the educational institution that receives my scores know that I was tested with special accommodations?

NITE does not communicate information about special text accommodations on its own initiative, but institutions of higher education are entitled to enquire whether or not the test was given with special accommodations. Institutions that request this information do not receive from NITE any details of the nature of the disability for which accommodations were given.

How long is the test score valid?

According to law, educational institutions are entitled to set their own policy on the validity period of the test score. The universities have determined that the Psychometric Entrance Test scores will be valid for admissions for a minimum of seven years. Some educational institutions have a policy of accepting the scores as valid for a longer period. For precise information on this topic you should apply to the admissions department of the institution where you wish to register.