Does test design affect time management and approaches to preparation? A study on washback mechanism

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers

Abstract

Existing studies on the washback of high-stakes language proficiency tests are mostly qualitative; there is a lack of quantitative studies exploring its mechanism. This study utilized structural equation modeling to investigate washback mechanism, focusing on two aspects of test design: component weighting and subjective test methods, and their washback on test preparation. Test-taker perceptions of test design and their test preparation activities were surveyed (N = 1,003); their test scores were also collected. Data was analyzed to estimate the washback effects on test-taker time management, approaches to preparation, and test performance. The study found that test takers spent more time on the components with higher weight and much less on those with lower weight. Reporting component scores separately did not seem to adjust this tendency. Meanwhile, favorable perception of test validity was associated with a higher level of engagement in both language learning activities and focused test preparation. This suggests that favorable perception may not be able to reduce negative washback effects, but may be able to promote positive ones. Copyright © 2013 17th Annual Conference of the Japan Language Testing Association.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013
Event17th Annual Conference of the Japan Language Testing Association: Ensuring Appropriate Language Assessment Use in Globalizing Society - Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
Duration: 21 Sep 201321 Sep 2013

Conference

Conference17th Annual Conference of the Japan Language Testing Association: Ensuring Appropriate Language Assessment Use in Globalizing Society
Abbreviated titleJLTA 2013
Country/TerritoryJapan
CityTokyo
Period21/09/1321/09/13

Citation

Xie, Q. (2013, September). Does test design affect time management and approaches to preparation? A study on washback mechanism. Paper presented at the 17th Annual conference of the Japanese Language Testing Association (JLTA), 21-22 Sept 2013, Tokyo, Japan.

Keywords

  • Component weighting
  • Washback
  • Subjective testing methods
  • Test preparation
  • Structural equation modeling
  • Alt. title: Changes in test design, impact on test preparation: A study of washback mechanism

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