Document Type : Research Paper


1 Tabriz University

2 Shahid Rajayee Teacher Training University, Tehran


Examining the effectof high-stakes tests on learners’ perceptions has been one of the strands of washback-related research.The present study purported to investigate the washback effect of the English section of theIranian National University Entrance Exam (henceforth INUEE) on the pre-university students’ perceptions about the high-stakes test. The participants of the study were 218 female students at two pre-university schools in the city of Ahwaz, Iran. The data were collected through a validated questionnaire. Responses and reactions to the questions were found to be mixed: a sizeable segment of the students were positive about the INUEE, considering it a valid evaluator of academic knowledge and viewing the test as a factorwhich at least 'forced' them to study English.However, those with negative perceptions criticized the test for mainly being an evaluator of rote-memorization ability (rather than academic knowledge) and a major source of anxiety, and its multiple-choice testing format,etc.The findings could be of pedagogic help and significance to policy makers, language testing scholars and teachers.


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