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Student Standardised Testing: Current Practices in OECD Countries and a Literature Review


  • Allison Morris

    (Institut d’Etudes Politiques)


This report discusses the most relevant issues concerning student standardised testing in which there are no-stakes for students (“standardised testing”) through a literature review and a review of the trends in standardised testing in OECD countries. Unlike standardised tests in which there are high-stakes for students, no-stakes implies that test results have no impact on the student’s academic career. The same tests, however, may have high stakes for teachers and schools. The report provides an overview of the standardised testing typology in the no-stakes context, including identifying the driving trends behind the gradual increase in standardised testing in OECD countries and the different purposes of standardised tests. Within this framework the report reviews how standardised tests with no-stakes for students are designed, implemented and used across OECD countries. The report also aims to synthesise the relevant empirical research on the impact of standardised testing on teaching and learning and to draw out lessons from the literature on aspects of standardised tests that are more effective in improving student outcomes. Key debates concerning standardised testing are identified throughout and include (among others): 1) selecting the appropriate test purpose; 2) teacher evaluation based on student test results; 3) the impact of publishing standardised test results; and 4) minimising strategic behaviour by teachers and administrators in standardised testing. Ce rapport analyse les questions essentielles sur les tests standardisés des élèves dont les résultats n’ont pas d’implications pour les élèves (« tests standardisés ») à travers une revue de la littérature et une analyse des tendances dans les pays de l’OCDE. Ce type de tests n’a pas d’implications pour le parcours scolaire des élèves. Ces mêmes tests peuvent toutefois avoir des conséquences pour les enseignants et les écoles. Le rapport offre une typologie de l’utilisation des tests standardisés sans conséquences pour les élèves y compris les raisons pour l’augmentation de leur utilisation dans les pays de l’OCDE et ses différents objectifs. Dans ce cadre, le rapport analyse la façon dont les tests standardisés sans conséquences pour les élèves sont conçus, implémentés et utilisés dans les pays de l’OCDE. Le rapport a aussi pour buts de synthétiser la recherche empirique pertinente sur l’impact des tests standardisés sur l’enseignement et l’apprentissage et de retirer des leçons de la littérature sur les aspects des tests standardisés qui sont plus efficaces dans l’amélioration des résultats des élèves. Des débats clés concernant les tests standardisés sont identifiés, notamment (entre autres) : 1) sélectionner l’objectif approprié pour le test ; 2) évaluation des enseignants sur la base des résultats des tests standardisés des élèves ; 3) l’impact de la publication des résultats des tests standardisés des élèves ; et 4) minimisation du comportement stratégique des enseignants et administrateurs dans la mise en place des tests standardisés.

Suggested Citation

  • Allison Morris, 2011. "Student Standardised Testing: Current Practices in OECD Countries and a Literature Review," OECD Education Working Papers 65, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:eduaab:65-en

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