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Student perceptions of standardised testing: Survey exploring the attitudes of university undergraduate students towards the traditional methods of student evaluation in formal education

Taylor, Matthew (2013) Student perceptions of standardised testing: Survey exploring the attitudes of university undergraduate students towards the traditional methods of student evaluation in formal education. Lancaster University.

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Abstract

This study explored student perceptions of standardised testing in education. The educational literature surrounding student assessment indicates that current testing practices are severely flawed. This is particularly concerning due to the high-stakes that are attached to exam outcomes. The purpose of this study was to assess whether student perceptions of standardised testing are consistent with the concerns raised by previous research. An online questionnaire was used to assess the overall attitudes of University students towards testing and the issues surrounding the assessment system based on their experiences throughout education. There were several significant patterns in student perceptions including four main factors identified by a principle components analysis which are analysed in this paper. The findings cast major doubts over the validity of standardised testing as well as raising serious concerns about the influence that standardised testing has on students throughout their education. The concerns raised by students emphasise the need for change in the ways in which standardised testing is used in education.

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