Analysis of variance for ten quantitative characters in tef plants showed significant (P<0.001) differences in each of them, indicating the existence of variability and hence the potential for improvement of the characters through breeding. Cultivars with very loose, fairly loose and semi-compact panicle forms were found to be better yielding compared with the very compact forms. Therefore, panicle form can be used as a criterion for yield selection in tef. Spikelets per main panicle, grains per main panicle, kernel weight per main panicle, productive tillers and panicle length were found to have a high genotypic coefficient of variability, high heritability and high genetic advance as a percentage of the mean. This shows that effective selection for improvement of these characters is possible in tef.