What is

High-Stakes Testing

High-stakes testing is any test that is used to make decisions about outcomes related to punishments (e.g. penalties), accolades (e.g. awards), advancement (e.g. graduation) or compensation (e.g. salary increases for professors). Tests that are “high-stakes” are used to determine whether students pass into the next level, whether a professor keeps their job and receives a bonus and whether a school receives penalties such as removing a principal. 

High-stakes testing refers to testing that determines one’s promotion, admission, graduation and salary for a given academic position. High-stakes testing can apply to both students and faculty. A high-stakes test is any test that is a single, defined assessment, draws a clear line between those who pass and fail and has consequences depending on the outcome.