Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 Professor, Tabriz University

2 Assistant Professor, Shahid Rajayee Teacher Training University, Tehran

Abstract

Examining the effect of 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 the Iranian 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 factor which 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.

Keywords

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