Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dan Douglas


The way standardized tests affect teaching and learning is usually called backwash in educational arena and washback in Applied Linguistics. The purpose of this study is to find out whether the foreign language examination---university entrance test---influences the way teachers teach and students learn in senior three classrooms (the last grade of high school) in Turkey. Secondary goal is to see the outcomess of teaching to the test and attitudes of different stakeholders towards the test and senior three English teaching in general.;The data were collected through online surveys, and participants comprise of four major groups. Senior three high school students and English teachers were invited to participate to find out the nature and the scope of washback, while college students and professors are asked to participate to investigate the outcomes of teaching to the test.;Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the responses of the participants. The results suggest that the test is a major factor determining the flow of English lessons in senior three classrooms. The classroom materials that were reported by both students and teachers including mock tests, commercial exam preparation materials and sample test questions directly serve to the purpose of practicing for the test and indicate the relative effect of the test on language learning.;The results also suggest that high school students and teachers focus more on the immediate goal of language learning which is to score high on the test and be admitted to the university by cramming for the test, and learning and practicing the language areas and skills that are measured on the test (grammar, reading, vocabulary) and ignore the ones that are not tested (listening, speaking, writing). Professors and college students, on the other hand, feel the shortage of not having enough practice especially in productive skills. They opine that long term goal of language learning should be to improve the ability to use the language. Based on the gap reported by these different stake-holders, findings lead to recommendations for a change in the curriculum and in the format of the test towards a more communicative and integrative one.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Aliye Karabulut



Proquest ID


OCLC Number




File Format


File Size

111 pages