High Stakes Testing

A high stake test is any assessment or examination that makesis every crucial in making a decision. This test ensures responsibility in students,and accountability at the federal and local level, for the purpose of ensuring that students are enrolled in recognized schools run by effective teachers. High scores are commonly used to evaluate a punishment such as penalty, negative public image and sanctions, advancement of students to either graduate or get a promotion at workplace, accolade in awards and developing a positive public image and compensation in form of bonuses for teachers and increment of salaries (Wilson, 2007, p. 1099).

There is an increasing trend in the use of high stake test to determine the efficiency of an individual with regard to performance at the school. This strategy is used to pinpoint school that performs poorly and hold teacher accountable for the performance. The notion of the high stake test is to ensure that students attain high performance and skill to increase their opportunity in the employment market. The notion of the test has been surrounded by controversies and critics from scholar all across the globe. First, the test is not an effective tool for evaluating knowledge and skill levels of an individual. Its emphasis on reading and arithmetic skills, but it does not consider where the individual under test has perfected his skill in the practical situation.

Secondly, it leads to stress in poor performing students. There is a lot of pressure associated with a high stake test which develop performance anxiety among students. Some people tend to perform poorly under test pressure and does not consider skills which are not examinable through high stake test.

Thirdly, the test leads to unfair penalization and victimization of students for not acquiring skills. It does not consider that different people have different opportunities in accessing learning materials. Wealth student attends private tuition in the aim of increasing their score on the test and end up outdoing students from poor backgrounds who have a limited access to material and cannot afford supplementary programs.

Finally, the high stake test has been criticized because the test emphasis on the performance of the final exam, which is not an effective measure for all activities that an individual engages while in school. For instance, final examinations in high school does not consider other skill that has been acquired apart from reading and arithmetic skills disregarding art, music and sport skills (Cizek, 2001, p. 22).


The purpose of high stake test is to ensure that students are enrolled in recognizing schools and run by effective teachers. High scores are commonly used to evaluate a punishment, advancement, compensation and accolade
















Cizek, G. J. (2001). More unintended consequences of high‐stakes testing. Educational     Measurement: Issues and Practice, 20(4), 19-27.


Wilson, L. D. (2007). High-stakes testing. Second handbook of research on mathematics   teaching and learning, 1099.