Standardized Tests Play Major Role in Education

Posted on January 9, 2017 by

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Standardized tests play a major role in today’s American education. The goal of these tests is to prove the child’s general knowledge of state required information and skills. However, there have been multiple debates discussing whether standardized tests even prove achievement or readiness to move up to a higher level of education.   If the student were to score a low grade on the test, he or she could be unable to move on to the next grade.

Standardized tests were originally for people to test their knowledge if they applied for a government position. The biggest standardized test today is the SATs, and it was first introduced in 1926 by the College Board. It contained 315 questions covering areas such as vocabulary, analogies, and math proficiency. To some, it may seem peculiar that a test determining if one could work for the government became a test students take to decide if they can advance to the next level of education or which college will accept them.

Tests such as the SATs and ACTs show that no matter what your high school has had to offer, you still have potential for college. One problem with making standardized tests a requirement for advancement is that each teacher grades differently and has different standards for academic evaluation. No matter what your GPA might be, that standardized test acts as an equalizer.  In some cases, that can be worse. Another problem with these tests is that teachers feel compelled to educate the students specifically on what is tested, to the exclusion of all other relevant information. In other words, the tests can take away time from other subjects, such as history and science, because the general tests are based on math, language, and reading.

Most schools have administered standardized tests for children at a young age, including PSSAs, Keystones, and other benchmarks. It allows students at a young age to understand how to take a formal test, but in reality, why are they needed? Children take those tests in fear that they will not move on to the next grade if they do not pass, and that isn’t the case. If you have one test already determining whether you are accepted to the college of your choice once you enter high school, then why is it necessary to have kids take another test that won’t mean anything after they leave school? The current curriculum should be the only thing on that child’s mind because what you learn in school is something that you’ll carry forever.

From a different standpoint comes the positive side to standardized tests. Some teachers may have different standards than others. For example, one math teacher could be happy with just noticing the students effort in class and give them an A, but, on the other hand, another teacher must be satisfied with clear and completed work to achieve that A. Standardized tests take that away and are graded the same throughout the United States. When taking SATs, you are able to pick what test you would like to take, and that is something people should not overlook.

Every test is different as well, and some do not realize that. Each time you take the test, it is not the same as the first, which is helpful in a sense. Also, there are websites and books that you can read and participate in to prepare you for the test. It distributes a series of questions much like the ones on the SATs and ACTs. Many students find it helpful and get a little boost of confidence going into the test because they feel prepared.

Posted in: Rayanna Celmer