Evaluating the impact of the Bahrain National Examinations: teacher and student perceptions

Evaluating the impact of the Bahrain National Examinations: teacher and student perceptions

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Evaluating the impact of the Bahrain National Examinations: teacher and student perceptions

During 2011, University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) and the National Examinations Unit (NEU) in Bahrain jointly delivered the third cycle of Grade 3 and Grade 6 National Examinations and the second cycle of Grade 9 National Examinations. National Examinations were introduced in order to assess the performance levels of students against the national curriculum at key educational stages.High-stakes assessments will always have some impact on teaching and learning as well as on other stakeholders outside the classroom. Therefore, there exists a requirement to make every systematic effort to ensure that assessments achieve a positive impact on educational processes and on the individuals affected by the results. It is important that impact studies take account of the perceptions of stakeholders, because their attitudes towards the test may be relevant to its validity. This includes the uses that the tests and results are put to by the stakeholders.This paper reports on research designed to respond to washback and impact questions seeking data on two principal stakeholders: the students and their teachers. Findings focus on perceptions of the National Examinations in terms of test fairness, pressures, likes and dislikes and on washback on preparation content, methods, skills, activities and materials. ,Key words: Bahrain National Examinations, test impact, high stakes examinations, washback

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