The Question & Test Interoperability® (QTI®) is a specification managed by the IMS Global Learning Consortium®. The QTI standard defines a format for the exchange of assessment content between different learning platforms, such as item banks, learning management systems, and assessment platforms. The data model dictates the structure of questions, assessments, and results using XML data binding.

History of QTI

The first release of QTI dates back to 2000 and the earliest release of the standard that is still supported QTI v1.2, which was released in 2003. Version 1.2 was leveraged and incorporated into the Common Cartridge format.

Version 2.0 was initially drafted in 2005, improved the data model of individual questions. However, this version was not compatible with previous releases of QTI and was eventually deprecated in 2009. Finally, version 2.1 was finalized and released in 2012 which supported changes to the structure of test and results.

QTI v2.2, initially released in 2015, is the currently supported version of the standard. This model defines new interactions and allows for interoperability between other specifications, such as the Accessible Portable Item Protocol®. Versions 2.2.1 and 2.2.2 have since been released to improve support for HTML5 and other commonly used web standards.


APIP (Accessible Portable Item Protocol) is a IMS supported standard to make assessment resources more accessible to learners with disabilities. APIP allows digital items to be used across APIP compliant test banks. It also provides a delivery interface with all of the data required to make an assessment item accessible for students with special needs. APIP is based on QTI, the IMS Access for All Personal Needs and Preferences standard, and IMS Content Packaging standard.

The APIP standard supports a variety of accessibility needs, such as:

  • Spoken directions
  • Braille information
  • References to tactile manipulatives
  • Translation of specific content into different or simpler language
  • Magnification preferences
  • Alternate color values
  • Allowing for additional time or breaks
  • Cognitive guidance

QTI v3

IMS Global is planning to publish of final release of QTI version 3.0 in Q1 2020. The version fully integrates the APIP 1.1 standard into QTI. Going forward, the development of the QTI specification will support accessibility requirements. This standard will also fully support the W3C web-markup standards and best practices which are currently used in web development. Furthermore, QTI v3 will incorporate the Caliper Analytics standard to capture assessment data and develop learning profiles. Portable Custom Interactions (PCIs), which allow for learner interactions outside of the standard QTI model, are also natively supported in v3.

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