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W. Al-Yaqoobi1, N. Alsayed1, A. Al-Aradi1, S. Shaw2

1National Authority for Qualifications and Quality Assurance of Education and Tarining (BAHRAIN)
2Cambridge International Examinations (UNITED KINGDOM)
National Examinations were introduced in 2009 to assess the performance of students against the national curriculum at key educational stages in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The National Examinations Unit (NEU) of the National Authority for Qualifications and Quality Assurance of Education & Training (NAQQAET), an independent organization, was established in 2008 to develop and carry out this work as part of the Education and Training reform project of Vision 2030 that promises to build a better life for every citizen.

With the introduction of any new examinations, awarding bodies are increasingly required to accept responsibility for their impact on major stakeholders. There exists therefore a requirement to make every systematic effort to ensure that the examinations achieve a positive influence on general educational processes and on individuals affected by the examination results.

As part of its commitment to the ongoing review of the quality of its work, the NAQQAET has engaged (in collaboration with its partner, Cambridge International Examinations) in a phased research study on impact relating to the overall usefulness of the National Examinations for their intended purpose.

The paper provides an overview of the examinations, a presentation of the theoretical bases of the different impact studies, a description of the instruments that have been used to elicit attitudes, experiences and perceptions of students and teachers, and some of the main findings from the first phases.