High Stakes Test In Trinidad And Tobago

High stakes lab tests are thought as those testing that "carry serious repercussions for students or educators. " The consequences from standardized accomplishment tests range between level retention for school children to rewards or punitive measures for colleges and college districts. The type of standardized achievements tests found in these circumstances poses validity problems for the decisions. Numerous unintended negative effects for students, educators, curriculum, and universities have been recognized. (Ohio Journal of Technology) High-stakes aren't a characteristic of the test itself, but instead of the results placed on the outcome. For instance, no matter what test can be used whether it's a written multiple choice, oral evaluation, performance test a student seeking a medical license must go away the medical licensing test to apply medicine.

The acuity of the stakes can vary greatly. For instance, school students who want to omit an introductory-level course tend to be given tests to see if they have already mastered the material and proceed to another level. By passing the exam they can attain credits that can reduce tuition expenditures and time spent at university. Students who is troubled to own these benefits may consider the test to be a high-stakes exam. Another learner, who places no importance on the results, so long as he is placed in a school that is suitable to his level of skill, may consider the same exam to be a low-stakes test.

To further concretize the theory what high stakes screening really is one can examine the word "high stakes". "High stakes" comes from directly from a gaming term. In gambling, a stake is described the number of money or goods that is risked on the results of some specific event. A high-stakes game is one in which, in the player's specific opinion, a sizable quantity of money has been risked. The term is meant to imply executing such a system introduces indecision and potential losses for test takers, who must go the exam to "win, " instead of being able to have the goal through other means.

High Stakes Test in Trinidad and Tobago

In Trinidad and Tobago, in the first 1960s the high stakes test of Common Entrance Examination was presented and served to displace the faculty Exhibition. It was intended that it would be the only tool of certification for supplementary education in this country. It was not intended to be a cross or fail assessment and the amount of prizes depended on the number of secondary institution places available at the time. This examination, for everyone purpose and purposes, was a multiple-choice examination. The multiple choice assessments were in English, Mathematics, Public Studies and Research apart from the Composition aspect of the examination. Students were then put into secondary institutions based on their order of merit and their parents' choice of school.

The Common Entry Examination system experienced its drawbacks. Many critics mentioned that anxiety, despair, aches, fever, delirious behaviour and severe panic attacks were some of the effects the normal Entrance Examination experienced on students. These and many other reasons resulted in the failure of the system and it was for that reason failure that a Task Pressure chaired by Mr. Clive Pantin, and including Dr. Anna Mahase, Dr. Janet Stanely-Marcano, Mr. Anthony Garcia among others, was set up to check out removing this Examination. THE DUTY Push in its studies found that panic and stress remained an attribute of the Common Entrance Examination and those immediately worried about it. In addition, it highlighted the sense of unworthiness and disappointment which became a feature of not only those who failed to gain a location, but also of those who were successful but failed to gain entrance to the institution of the choice. It further mentioned that anticipated to the importance of the assessment and due to too little satisfactory alternatives to general population extra education the evaluation started to exert an inordinate influence on the principal college, the curriculum and coaching practices. Educators were often very restricted to that subject which would be examined at the exam. It was found that students, even those who performed well in the assessment, entered secondary institution without the required basic preparation for secondary school work. It discovered that nearly fifty percent (50%) of the students who had written the Common Access Examination were semi literate and innumerate.

The Task Push recommended, among other things, that there was need to develop a Secondary Entrance Examination which would test the students' degree of competence in the main element areas of British, Mathematics and Written Composition. It stated that needed be achieved in a way which would signify readiness of the extra education programme. On top of that, it mentioned that Research and Community Studies should be omitted because of the unwarranted influence that they had on the ultimate result in the normal Entrance Examination placement of students and because these were unsatisfactorily tested. In addition, it recommended that a Continuous Assessment Programme (CAP) should become a fundamental element of the institution System. The Continuous Assessment Programme was to be used to look for the student's readiness for campaign.

The Secondary Entrance Assessment, a system of education which ready the child for access into a secondary college and included mechanisms to determine when the kid was ready and where she or he would be put, was the major goals of this new system of education. Corresponding the Universal Secondary Education Project Execution Unit Dec 28th 1999, the implementation of the Secondary Entrance Evaluation would provide a link between independent elements of the Universal Secondary Education in Trinidad and Tobago. Secondary Entrance Evaluation would evaluate students' readiness for supplementary schools by testing their skills in Terms, Mathematics and Problem-solving and protects the nationwide curriculum for Primary-level education with a focus on Criteria three-five. Students who are in Standard five and have not yet attained age 15 are eligible to write the ocean. It alluded to the actual fact that there would be no multiple-choice questions, a feature of the Common Entrance Evaluation. Furthermore, it explained that location in the secondary schools would be predicated on marks obtained on the exam; the available of places in their school of choice, option of secondary places in their education section and considering the 20 percent (20%) provision awarded to denominational university under the Concordat.

Interviews and results

Interview Schedule for High Stakes Test Research Paper

Two week schedule



Time Frame


1. Sensitization of professor, mother or father and students

1. Meeting to set the reason for forthcoming interview

March 2nd 2010

One hour

2. Development of questionnaires

1. Questionnaires will be created by interview personnel

March 3rd and 4th 2010

Two days

3. Setup meetings for interviews

1. Interview personnel set up session with stakeholders for interviews.

March 5th 2010

One day

4. Interview with teacher

1. Interview workers interviews teacher on the one on one basis using questionnaire

March 8th 2010

One hour

5. Interview with parent

1. Interview staff has a one on one interview with parent

March 9th 2010

One hour

6. Interview with three students

1. Interview employees has a private interview with students at differing times.

March 10th 2010

Three hours

7. Analyze and synthesize data

1. Interview workers analyzes and synthesizes data collected

March 11th and 12th 2010

Two daysTeacher's Conception of the High Stake Test.

The professor I interviewed has been educating the Standard Five category for days gone by fifteen years. Upon receiving his new class he does a standard diagnostic test to gauge the degree of readiness of his students. He's confronted with many challenges particularly insufficient resources, varying abilities of students, poor infrastructure, limited parental support, overcrowding & most importantly the high demand of workload to completed prior to the SEA exam.

He uses his initiative to alleviate a few of these challenges for occasion creating his own resources, timetable parent meetings, plan and perform lessons using various teaching strategies to meet the needs of his students. To complete his program of work before the assessment he sacrifices personal time during the getaway and on Saturdays and sometimes on afternoons after institution to conduct classes for slower learners.

In his view a multiple choice test which was the key form of assessment in the normal Entrance examination will not truly indicate the capabilities of students. He seems that children need expressing themselves and think critically when interacting with problems. Hence the ocean assessment is the better choice for the high stake testing in Trinidad and Tobago.

Examination in its many varieties poses some level of anxiety among students, professors and parents and the fact remains that the coping mechanism because of this is all the individuals' responsibility. He is of the judgment that the SEA examination is an appropriate evaluation tool to evaluate students' performance inside our rapidly changing population.

There are many benefits and drawbacks to high stakes screening and way more the SEA examination. This teacher thinks that this form of analysis will help all students for more information by demanding higher student skills and providing effective methods to help students achieve high requirements; provide parents, colleges, and neighborhoods with an unprecedented chance to question and reach agreement on what students should know and also do; focus the education system on understandable, objective, measurable, and well-defined goals to enable academic institutions to work smarter and much more productively; reinforce the best teaching and educational methods already within classrooms and make sure they are the norm; and offer real accountability by concentrating squarely on results and supporting the general public and local and state educators evaluate which programs work best.

He also feels that we now have many shortcomings regarding high stakes trials. Included in these are the careless implementation of programs of work that might not meet the differing talents of students which might bring about negative consequences.

Sacrifice, diligence, persistence are the key for the successful conclusion of any examination was the closing comments by this standard educator.

Parent's Perception

There is a higher level of anxiety for this parent or guardian by having a kid in the Standard five course. She feels that examination is heavily weighted and triggers a great deal of stress related situations at home and institution for parents and children as well. Being a housewife, she has sufficient time to assist her child along with his planning for the test. She seems that the kid has to do this examination whether it's reasonable or not because this is actually the norm in this country.

This mother or father is of the opinion that SEA is less strenuous than the common entrance exam because the emphasis is on mathematics and vocabulary arts areas and there is no longer the technology and cultural studies component. She believes that SEA is the better means of calculating her child's performance.

Time management and insufficient understanding of content are a few of the challenges that parent or guardian encounters when hoping to aid her child. She looks for the help of other parents and the professor when uncertainty develops in supporting her child.

Motivation is an integral factor in the success of her child. She feels that if the kid is motivated he'll prosper. She tries to emulate her parents as she was also determined to do her best. She actually is quite self-confident that her child will flourish in the SEA exam because of the teacher's competences, her support & most importantly the child's effort. As a parent or guardian she seems that she have her best in preparing her child because of this high stakes test.

Children's Perception

The three students desire to effectively acquire their first choice in the high stakes ensure that you intend to work diligently towards achieving this goal. They assume that the SEA exam is one of the most important one that they have to write. They feel they don't have sufficient time to get ready which is a lot of sacrifice and effort. They all assume that their teacher is best and they will definitely succeed. They are doing many previous papers and participating in extra classes. With the exception of one child, they feel that their parents provide adequate support for the coffee lover. All three students contain the confidence they are prepared for the ocean examination and they'll secure their first choice.

Common themes

All stakeholders believe that the SEA assessment is an appropriate evaluation tool to assess students' performance

Sacrifice, hard work, dedication and commitment are necessary for successful attainment in the SEA examination.

Stress and panic affects everyone in virtually any examination.

Support from all stakeholders are crucial components in the preparation for high stakes test.

Teacher competency is a key element in the success of any university student.


High stakes in its entirety is pertinent in Trinidad and Tobago. It provides as the medium from the principal level to the secondary level. Much emphasis is put on this test and it is the stepping stone for progress studies and is vital to attainment of certificates and diplomas that will secure a good job. While there may be shortcomings in the execution of programmes of work which may well not meet the varying capabilities of students' can result in negative consequences. However, in finding your way through high stakes test students will establish critical thinking and problem dealing with skills. It allows students to achieve higher standards. Regarding schools, it stimulates well define goals that may lead to more output and offer real accountability. The Extra Entrance Evaluation (SEA) in Trinidad and Tobago is the high stake test that assesses students' readiness for secondary schools by evaluating their skills in Language, Mathematics and Problem-solving.

Appendix 1

Teacher Questionnaire

How long have been instructing a typical five category?

On receiving a new school of students, how do you diagnose the level of your students' readiness?

What are some difficulties you face in instructing a typical five course?

What are some strategies you used to get over these difficulties?

What is your opinion of removing the common entry assessment and the implementation of the ocean examination?

Do you think the level of stress and anxiety of students is the same with to the switch from the common entrance examination to the ocean examination?

Is the ocean examination a proper diagnosis tool to evaluate students' performance?

What do you consider is the features of this assessment tool?

What are the disadvantages of this assessment tool?

What recommendation can you give to reduce the pressures of this exam?

Appendix 2

Parent Questionnaire

How do you are feeling as a father or mother having a kid in an SEA course?

Do you spend sufficient time assisting your son or daughter in his assignment work?

Do you think it is fair to your child for this exam to be the identifying factor of his positioning in a secondary school?

What is your opinion the removal of the Common entrance evaluation and the implementation of the SEA examination?

Do you think it is an appropriate evaluation tool to assess your child's skills?

What are some problems you face as a parent with a child in a SEA course?

How would you deal with the challenges encountered?

Do you think drive is necessary to alleviate some of the stress that your son or daughter faces? Why?

Do you think your child is with the capacity of successfully completing the ocean exam? Why?

Do you feel to have fulfilled your duty as a parent or guardian in preparing your son or daughter for the exam?

Appendix 3

Student Questionnaire

What are your aspirations upon entering in SEA class?

What are your opinions with regards to the upcoming SEA evaluation?

What are a few of the obstacles you are facing in preparing for the exam?

Do you think your tutor is proficient in preparing you for this examination?

What have you been doing to prepare for the evaluation?

How are your parents helping you in the preparation for the assessment?

Do you feel you are ready for the examination?

What do you consider the results of the exam will be?

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