High-Stakes Tests

High-stakes testing is an evaluation process whereby a major consequence is attached to a standardized test. “High stakes” refers to the outcome or consequence of the process, which for the student can be a grade or the potential to fail a course. While any test can be perceived by the test taker as high stakes if a grade is associated with it, high stakes here refers to standardized tests developed specifically to evaluate student achievement and school effectiveness.

Proponents of high-stakes testing believe that attaching significant rewards or major penalties to the evaluation method will motivate students and teachers to achieve better learning outcomes. The U.S. law known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) heralded a new age of increased high-stakes testing. When implemented ...

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