In the context of outcomes-based school governance, statewide exit exams are often expected to have a positive effect on student achievements if schools and teachers use the performance feedback from the exams for school, instructional, and professional development. However, very little is known about whether the exams are used for development at all and how this is affected by factors in the exam system and organizational aspects of schools. In a comparison of Finland, Ireland, and the Netherlands, the study therefore investigates how different exam systems and their functions, the conditions at school level, and the use of the exams for school and classroom development are associated. The study uses expert interviews and a questionnaire survey with principals and teachers. The role statewide exit exams can play in education systems is analyzed from a governance perspective and a school development perspective and discussed with an international comparative view.