Why No One Likes Standardized Testing

In News, Opinion, School by Kayla JohnsLeave a Comment

Everyone knows about all the tests that students have been required to take ever since elementary school. There’s the STAAR tests, the CBAs, the PSATs, the SATs, and many more. So numerous students dread that time of the year when teachers start to make them take practice tests and push them to study until they don’t miss a single question. The tests seem to be the most important thing in school, students spend a whole school year prepping for a single test that they just need to pass. There are multiple pros and cons when it comes to the education systems and standardized testing. But at the end of the day many must wonder, is standardized testing really necessary for todays’ education system?
“A big disadvantage of standardized testing is that it’s easy to interpret a student’s score as the sole judgement of that student’s ability.” Bryan Nixon, who’s the Head of the School at TASIS, which is a college in England, said in his article about testing.
Standardized testing has been a back and forth topic in education systems everywhere for years. Studies have found that standardized testing are an unreliable way to measure a students’ performance. Despite this, many countries still require a certain number of tests to be taken before students can even consider graduating. It has also been proven that testing doesn’t improve students’ achievement and that the tests only cover a small part of what makes education meaningful. Testing causes unnecessary stress to younger students while older students have been found to not care as much about testing because it does not directly affect their grades. The testing system has also been found to be discriminatory against students whose English isn’t the best and against students with special needs due to the mandatory tests not meeting their special needs or requirements.
“As of 2016, the average student in America takes a staggering 112 mandatory standardized tests before graduating high school.” Gabriella Hirsch, a former Harvard student, said in her article over the science behind standardized testing.
There are many countries that have completely different testing standards than the United States. In the UK, students are required to take dozens of standardized tests, typically they take at least 15 to 20 tests before they even turn 16. Finland, which has one of the best education systems in the world, only requires students to take one test at the end of high school called National Matriculation Examination.
There are a few ways that standardized testing provides aid for the education system. Testing is a way to provide a lot of useful information at a cheaper price. It also cuts down on class time, which allows students a chance to catch up and gives them an opportunity to review everything they have learned. There is also the fact that stricter and harder testing standards are better at preparing students for their future in college or university. Testing also helps spot problem areas that students may have, while also helping teachers with their grading abilities, which is what seriously impacts students. Standardized testing also provides certain guidelines for the school’s curriculum.
“Unlike the old assessments, which largely measured how well a student could memorize information, the new assessments evaluate deep understanding of concepts. This will prepare our kids for the challenges they will face in the real world.” Mark D’Alessio, the Manager of Communications for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Center for Education and Workforce said.
Standardized testing has both pros and cons when it comes to the education system and the students’ needs. It’s been a part of school for a long time and probably won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. In the long run though, many studies have proved that standardized testing doesn’t really provide much benefit for anyone except the teachers and the test creators. Despite these studies and all the research behind standardized testing, it will continue to be a part of all student and teachers life’s for years to come.

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