Wash-back Effects of National Higher Education Entrance Examinations on Students’ English Language Learning: In Selected Schools of North Western Ethiopia

Zeleke Workneh Ayele


The main purpose of this study was to assess wash-back effect of English grade 12 national examinations on students’ English Language learning. The research design was descriptive survey. Questionnaires, document analysis and interview were employed as methods of data collection. The obtained data was analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. The quantitative data were analyzed by using mean and percentage.   The finding of this research indicates that the university entrance examination influenced English teachers not to teach English Language skills like listening skills, oral speaking skills and paragraph and essay writing skills. English Foreign Language in the classroom tailored by higher education entrance examinations.  Based on the findings the following recommendations were made. Firstly, English teachers should consider that they are teaching to improve their students’ communicative competence. Hence, the neglected skills in the entrance examination in English subject are highly importance to use the language for communicative purpose and they should treat those contents equally with other portions of the course. Next, the school principals should create awareness for the students to learn all English course contents that will important for them to be effective in all other academic courses in their future endeavor.  Finally, ministry of Education should give value for grad 11 and grade 12 transcripts while students are being assigned to universities and field of studies and teachers should consider all the course contents in the classroom assessments.

Keywords: wash back effect; English language learning; standardized examination; multiple choice; essay writing; oral speaking; paragraph writing; national exam

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