Investigating the Backwash Effect of Higher Education Exam (YGS) on University Students’ Attitudes

Volume 7 - Issue 3
Murat Polat
Pages: 152-163 Download Count : 40 View Count: 33 DOI Number 10.17220/ijpes.2020.03.014 Facebook Share on Google+ Save to Zotero Save to Mendeley


The application of high-stakes tests to choose students for higher education in Turkey has been considered as a reliable and effective way of assessment for so long. However, the application of a multiple-choice test in testing various skills could bring a number of side-effects with itself. This study aimed to investigate the backwash effect of the university exam on university students’ attitudes. To be able to collect data from participants, it was first aimed to develop an attitude scale to examine the washback effect of Higher Education Exam (YGS). Considering the views of 5 academicians from educational sciences, ELT and testing disciplines, a preliminary version of the washback scale was developed. Next, the new scale was piloted in order to do its exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. Third, the scale’s internal reliability was measured and the scale which had 3 factors and 13 items was proven to be a valid and reliable tool to collect data including university students’ views towards the washback effect of the university exam on their attitudes. Data of this study were collected from 5 state universities with the contribution of 1617 students from different grades and disciplines. The results showed that YGS had negative washback effects on university students in terms of test anxiety and study habits but considering its impact on students’ time management skills, YGS was reported to have a positive impact on participants.


  • High-stakes tests
  • scale development
  • university entrance exam
  • washback effect
  • YGS
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