QTI 3 and Assessment QTI 3 and Assessment

Member Resources Public Documents Background

Digital assessment is made easier if there’s a standard format for the exchange of test questions and structures, scoring information, the ability to analyze results, and ways to accommodate learners’ personal needs and preferences. IMS Global's assessment work has enabled the move to digital assessment as a more responsive and reliable alternative to paper-based testing. This is especially important at a time when most institutions are looking to eliminate or greatly reduce the use of paper in classrooms within the next few years.

Question & Test Interoperability® (QTI®)—the de-facto standard for e-assessment interoperability—identifies and defines the formats, protocols, and points of interoperability that save users and suppliers time and money in the development, delivery, and outcomes of assessments. In addition, IMS e-assessment initiatives include open interoperability solutions for accessibility requirements, integration of computer adaptive testing platforms for advanced, personalized testing, and online proctoring for remote, secure assessments.



Supports compliance with federal requirements to meet the needs of all students as stated in section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the 2017 update of Section 508 that requires WCAG 2.0 AA compliance. More recent versions of QTI also support accommodations commonly used in K–12 assessments.

Content Ownership

Content Ownership

Institutions can own and maintain their assessment content using item banks in the open, interoperable QTI format that supports content portability as needs change.

Online and Paper

Flexibility: Online and Paper

Institutions can move to 100% digital assessments or maintain paper exams as necessary with QTI.

Item Innovation

Item Innovation

Portable Custom Interactions (PCI): updates to the specification, which provides a standard way of authoring and delivering interactive or technology-enhanced question items.

Learning Platform Integration

Learning Platform Integration

Computer Adaptive Testing specification, a new standard for establishing interoperability between adaptive testing engines and assessment delivery platforms to adapt a test to students' understanding of the subject matter.

Learning Tools Interoperability® (LTI®) complements QTI by providing a way to integrate testing or an externally hosted assessment system with a student portal or learning platform, like an LMS, and then returning results or scores upon completion. LTI can also provide integration points for other parts of an assessment system such as item authoring, item previewing, test taker reviewing for scoring, etc. 

Proctoring Services: establishes a standard way of proctoring exams by integrating test platforms with proctoring services/systems, taking advantage of the rich LTI model in wide use across learning management systems and external tools.

Results Data and Analytics

Results Data and Analytics

Important but perhaps underappreciated part of QTI is the ability to capture and exchange assessment results data called QTI Results Reporting—conformance certification testing is coming soon.

The Caliper Analytics® standard provides a basic profile for capturing event data related to assessments (and other learning data) and is currently working to expand its capabilities by defining a richer QTI Caliper profile. (coming soon)

Savings in Time and Money

Savings: Time and Money

Lower cost of ownership for institutions and assessment programs from high stakes to formative assessments. 

Volume and Scale

Volume and Scale

Tens of millions of tests and their associated items have been created, transferred, delivered to students and scored using QTI across the world. 


Are Your Products IMS Global Certified?

Ensuring that your educational technology tools are IMS Global certified is the best way to establish a plug-and-play ecosystem, allowing your systems and content to work together seamlessly, giving you more choice, and reducing your total cost of ownership.

Question & Test Interoperability (QTI)

Equally benefitting state, district, institution-level users, and the suppliers of digital assessment content or services, QTI provides a full open standards solution for all kinds of assessment functions, including question item authoring, test delivery, scoring, results analysis, reporting, and content and results exchange.
As institutions and organizations look to procure QTI-based content or systems, it is important to include specific language in RFPs around IMS conformance certification. Assessment products should be certified to the current version and profile of QTI:
  • QTI v2.2 State/Core Profile
  • QTI v3.0 State/Core Profile
Example language could include a statement such as: “Vendor must provide evidence of a valid conformance certification, including a current registration number issued to the supplier and listed in the IMS certified product directory available at Certification must be provided to the current version of QTI v2.2 State/Core Profile and when finalized, to the QTI v3 State/Core Profile.” 
For additional information about conformance certification and language to include in an RFP, please see the QTI Primer.

What’s New in QTI v3

  • Improved presentation interoperability 
  • Web-friendly markup allows implementations to use standard web components in QTI structures
  • Accessibility better supported by integrating APIP back into the base QTI specification and incorporating the relevant W3C specifications and accessibility best practices
For additional details, view the high-level comparison of the latest QTI Versions. You can also learn more by watching this VIDEO.
Some resources are available to IMS members only (IMS login required to access all of the resources available). If you cannot find what you want, try the Technical Resources Search or go to the forum and post a message for the community.

Member Resources (login required)

IMS conformance certification for Question and Test Interoperability (QTI) is available for IMS Contributing, Affiliate, and eAssessment Alliance members. Learn more to begin taking advantage of the benefits of certification.

The following are the active project group/task force forums where discussions, documents, and agendas/minutes are posted:

Student Learning Data Model

  • The IMS Student Learning Data Model visualizes a digital ecosystem interconnected with real-time data. Log in with your IMS member credentials to access specification-level Mapping and Discovery in the tool.


IMS has developed standards that the assessment community worldwide is using to improve learning. QTI is an open format that enables the interoperability of assessment items and tests. The latest version is 3.0, released to members in Q3 2019, is expected to be published as Public Candidate Final in March 2022.
QTI v3 derives from previous versions, namely version 2.2 and APIP version 1.1. APIP (Accessible Portable Item Protocol) is a set of accommodation extensions to use in conjunction with QTI 2.2. The APIP extensions have been streamlined and integrated into the QTI 3 standard.
A subset or profile of an older version of QTI, v1.2, is used in Common Cartridge®, which is a format for importing and exporting content into/out of learning platforms. APIP v1.0 adds accessibility support to the QTI model to enable the electronic delivery of assessment to students with a variety of presentation needs and preferences.
All the versions of QTI and APIP are still supported by IMS Global.
QTI benefits suppliers and end users equally with cost savings of money, time, implementation and integration efforts all supporting the move from paper-based assessment to the future of digital assessments. These standards can be used for simple quizzes, formative assessments, or high-stakes/summative assessment.
QTI touches a variety of systems in a typical assessment eco-system enabling the exchange of question items, tests, and results data between authoring tools, item banks, test construction tools, learning environments, and assessment delivery systems, and scoring administrative systems.
An essential part of QTI is an exchange format for the organization of assessment results used for reporting and analysis, this QTI Result Reporting defines a way to capture and exchange individual student results of individual items or complete assessments across multiple contexts (class, school, district, state, etc.).
The assessment members in IMS constitute an active and vibrant community working together to enhance interoperability of test content and data to be better exchanged between assessment systems and different suppliers without loss of fidelity. Dedicated leaders from assessment suppliers and end-user organizations and institutions have formed the Assessment Product Steering Committee to help set the assessment industry direction now and in the future.
The Assessment PSC is currently directing the efforts of the assessment activities in IMS to improve the IMS conformance certification process and to establish exact interoperability. It is also leading the development of the next version of the standard that brings together QTI and APIP into a new specification called QTI v3.



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