A test is high stake if its results are analyzed and used to make important decisions that affect students, teachers, communities, schools, administrators, and districts (Madaus, 1988). Precisely, high-stake tests are a part of a policy design that “links the score of one set of standardized tests to grade promotion, graduation, and in some cases dictates teacher and principal salaries and tenure decisions” (Dale and Bonnie, 2006). They were formulated with an aim of improving teaching and educational methods in public schools. Stakes are used as part of an accountability process since the results of the tests are reported to the public (Wayne, 2009). The process of strengthening the schools within a nation involves measuring what and how well students learn.
Standardized test along with students grades and teacher evaluations, are the building blocks used to determine the skills of a student, knowledge and their abilities. For this reason, tests should be part of a system that provides equitable access to educational opportunity. Advancement should also be made available to all students. Standardized tests when used properly are the most effective way of determining the performance of a student (Wayne, 2009). However, when this approach is used inappropriately or as the only measure of performance, they result to unintended consequences. It is evident that many schools today are mandating tests as a measure of performance. The system is used to hold individuals and schools accountable for their performance. Tests should be used as a mode of communication between the teachers and the students. The teacher evaluates how individual students understand the topic of study and also help them understand if their methods of teaching are effective (Wayne, 2009). The lack by many students to understand the purpose of tests makes most of them dismiss their importance. They feel obliged to pass the test and have to memorize all the material taught in class.