OECD Reviews of Evaluation and Assessment in Education: Student Assessment in Turkey

image of OECD Reviews of Evaluation and Assessment in Education: Student Assessment in Turkey

How can assessment and evaluation policies work together more effectively to improve student outcomes in primary and secondary schools? The country reports in this series provide, from an international perspective, an independent analysis of major issues facing evaluation and assessment policy to identify improvements that can be made to enhance the quality, equity and efficiency of school education.

Turkey’s education system stands out internationally as a success story. In recent decades, participation has been vastly expanded, becoming universal at lower levels of schooling and outperforming other middle-income countries in upper secondary education. However, the education system is also marked by disparities, with only around half of 15-year olds acquiring the essential competencies they need for life and work.

This review, developed in co operation with UNICEF, suggests how student assessment can be used more effectively to better support all students to do well. It provides recommendations for enhancing teachers’ classroom assessments, assessing a broader range of skills through national examinations and using the new national assessment to support improvements in learning and teachers’ assessment practice.


Assessment and recommendations

Since the OECD review of education in Turkey in 2007, the country has achieved a major expansion of school participation at the same time as significant improvements in the quality and equity of student learning outcomes. However, the gap in educational achievement compared with most member countries of the Organisation for Economic Development and Co‑operation (OECD) remains wide and represents a constraint for future growth and productivity (OECD, 2016[1]). International data shows that while more students than ever before are reaching basic levels of numeracy and literacy, a large share of those entering high school still has weak foundations in these essential domains (below Level 2 in the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment [PISA]). Conversely, only 1% of students in Turkey demonstrate, by age 15, the types of higher order skills needed to participate fully in a modern knowledge economy, and this share has not increased in more than a decade (Level 5 and above in PISA) (OECD, 2016[2]).


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