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In an attempt to enhance and evaluate communicative English language ability, a large-scale high-stakes English test, called the National English Ability Test (NEAT), has recently been developed in Korea. With the emergence of the NEAT, its possible impact and stake holders' perceptions and attitudes toward the test have been examined. To further understand students' perceptions, the present study investigated whether high school students exhibiting different levels of psychological factors varied in their perceptions, expectations, and washback effects of the NEAT. A total of 1,719 high school students completed two sets of questionnaires, including (1) a questionnaire used to measure students' perceptions about the NEAT, and (2) a questionnaire used to evaluate their psychological state (i.e., sociability, confidence, and motivation). The students classified into two groups based on their levels of each psychological factor showed distinct response patterns in their perceptions, expectations, and washback of the NEAT. The findings suggest that in order to facilitate students' learning for the newly developed English test, their affective state should be carefully considered.