The aim of this study is to explore the nature of the impact of an oral exam - the EuroCom - on teaching and learning. This exam was introduced in Realschulen in Baden-Württemberg, following educational reforms in 2004. The Ministry of Education had hoped the EuroCom would have a washback effect, specifically on teaching. It was expected that lessons would become more communicative. Prior to this study, no investigation of the EuroCom and its impact was undertaken. Mixed methods research was conducted, using both teacher and learner surveys and interviews and classroom observations. The results support those of previous studies and indicate the complexity of washback, not only on teaching and learning, but also on educational policies and materials. As language assessment is a relatively new field in Germany, the results of this study will help the Ministry of Education of Baden-Württemberg, staff at teacher training colleges, textbook publishers, and English teachers to better understand how best to prepare students for this high-stakes exam.