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Impact and washback -impact theory and practice


As a high-stakes test, IELTS impacts on its candidature and test users. Ongoing research ensures that the test is functioning as intended and identifies any relevant issues.


Research focuses on IELTS impact in a range of areas:

  • entry to higher education
  • and professional registration
  • prediction of academic language performance
  • stakeholder attitudes
  • key tertiary decision-makers
  • test preparation.

The following research reports cover impact theory and practice


Title Researchers Published
Perceptions of IELTS in Cambodia: A case study of test impact in a small developing country Stephen Moore, Macquarie University, Richmond Stroupe Soka University and Paul Mahony IDP Cambodia IELTS RR 13 2012
A case study evaluation of the English language progress of Chinese students on two UK postgraduate engineering courses Gaynor Lloyd-Jones and Chris Binch, Cranfield University IELTS RR 13 2012
Developing the assessment literacy of IELTS test users in higher education Kieran O’Loughlin, The University of Melbourne IELTS RR 13 2012
Impact theory and practice: Studies of the IELTS Test and Progetto Lingue 2000 Roger Hawkey, University of Bedfordshire SiLT 24 2006
IELTS impact: A study on the accessibility of IELTS GT modules to 16–17 year old candidates Jan Smith, Cambridge ESOL consultant RN 18 2004
An IELTS impact study: Implementation and some early findings Roger Hawkey, Cambridge ESOL consultant RN 15 2004
The IELTS impact study: Development and implementation Roger Hawkey, Cambridge ESOL consultant RN 6 2001
Investigating the impact of international language examinations Nick Saville, Research and Validation Group Cambridge ESOL RN 2 2000
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