Second-order exponential (SOE) models have been proposed as item response models (e.g., Anderson et al., J. Educ. Behav. Stat. 35:422–452, 2010; Anderson, J. Classif. 30:276–303, 2013. doi: 10.1007/s00357-00357-013-9131-x; Hessen, Psychometrika 77:693–709, 2012. doi:10.1007/s11336-012-9277-1 Holland, Psychometrika 55:5–18, 1990); however, the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of the SOE models differ from those of standard item response theory models. Although presented as reexpressions of item response theory models (Holland, Psychometrika 55:5–18, 1990), which are reflective models, the SOE models are formative measurement models. We extend Anderson and Yu (Psychometrika 72:5–23, 2007) who studied unidimensional models for dichotomous items to multidimensional models for dichotomous and polytomous items. The properties of the models for multiple latent variables are studied theoretically and empirically. Even though there are mathematical differences between the second-order exponential models and multidimensional item response theory (MIRT) models, the SOE models behave very much like standard MIRT models and in some cases better than MIRT models.