How the High-Stakes and College Entrance Exam Affects Students’ Perception: Implication on Management Policy in Higher Education
Purpose – Vietnam’s education system has undergone numerous changes. One of the significant reforms is the college admissions process which all high school seniors are obliged to go through the High School Graduation Examination (HSGE). Despite its significance, there is lack of research to examine the effects of high-stakes and nationally standardized exams on students’ learning experiences. By applying the concept of washback, the purpose of this study is to provide a comprehensive qualitative analysis of students’ perceptions and learning experiences when preparing for and taking the HSGE. Research design, data, and methodology – 20 high school seniors were participated in this study. This study utilized a stratified sampling methods and randomly selected participants. Result – This study revealed that the washback effect of the HSGE strongly existed in students’ learning experiences. This study also found that there is a negative washback effect of the HSGE on students’ learning, particularly for those living in rural areas although Vietnamese schools and communities shared unequal educational and socioeconomic resources. Conclusion – The results of this study would be useful for policymakers to provide better assessment system to enhance students’ ability and reduce exam pressure. This study also makes suggestions in regard to bringing more formative types of assessment into the high-stakes and nationally standardized exam.
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