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What is High Stakes Tests

Optimizing Higher Education Learning Through Activities and Assessments
A linguistic threshold that enables people to measure their English language proficiency in a meaningful manner.
Published in Chapter:
The High Stakes Use of Language Proficiency Tests as Illusio and Pyramid Scheme: An Evaluation of Their Social Aspects, Validity, and Reliability
Rifat Kamasak (Yeditepe University, Turkey), Mustafa Ozbilgin (Brunel University, UK), and Ali Rıza Esmen (Independent Researcher, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4036-7.ch010
Abstract
There is a growing trend in using high stakes standardised test scores to evaluate individuals' academic and professional language proficiency. Although these tests determine the fates of millions of students and job seekers across the world, several aspects of these tests such as their design, ethical implementation, procedural fairness, and validity and reliability are questioned by many linguists. This chapter aims to evaluate the mostly criticised social and technical aspects of high stakes language tests from a pyramid scheme perspective. In order to achieve this aim, a number of empirical studies from the extant literature are reviewed, and some comments are provided in the conclusion section.
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Effecting Change in a Politically Charged Environment
Test scores that are used to determine punishments (such as sanctions, penalties, funding reductions, negative publicity), accolades (awards, public celebration, positive publicity), advancement (grade promotion or graduation for students), or compensation (salary increases or bonuses for administrators and teachers).
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