Educational Testing Service (ETS) is the organization that designed, built, and maintains the TOEIC. ETS is an American non-profit organization headquartered in New Jersey, but it has many for-profit subsidiaries all around the world. When you take the TOEIC, ETS receives a large portion of your test fee, and it is ETS that scores the TOEIC. The test center where you take the TOEIC keeps the rest of the fee and is responsible only for security and test administration. Your test center does not grade your TOEIC test.
ETS designed the TOEIC in the late 1970’s at the request of a Japanese businessman. The first TOEIC was administered by ETS in Japan in 1979. Japan is still a major market for ETS’s TOEIC, and along with South Korea, these two countries represent 80% of the total TOEIC test takers each year.
The TOEIC is not the only test built by ETS. ETS is also the organization behind the TOEFL (for academic English), the SAT (for American high school students), the GRE (for American college students), and many other American state exams for primary and secondary school students. ETS is a huge organization and is estimated to administer over 50 million tests a year worldwide. ETS’s TOEIC is taken by about 1.7 million people each year.