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Exit Exams: A Gauge Of Potential

1772 words - 8 pages

“Following years of complaints from both employers and academic institutions of higher learning that many high school graduates lacked basic educational skills in reading, writing, and math, both legislators and educators agreed to work toward raising educational standards nationwide” (“Competency Testing” 1). In recent years, several states have pushed for statewide tests that are required prerequisites of high school students in order to graduate. These tests, better known as exit exams, have been under great scrutiny ever since they first came into existence. It needs to remain necessary for students to pass a high school exit exam before they are pushed out into the real world. High school exit exams are necessary, because they ensure that graduating seniors have the proper basis of knowledge to achieve higher aspirations, either in college or the workplace.
First of all, in order to get into college students will take a huge standardized test which measures a student’s general knowledge, so the same should be done in order to graduate high school. Many students and parents may argue that a test on how well a student can retain knowledge is not a proper indicator of their future success. However, that is exactly what they will be tested on while trying to get into college. In order to get into a university, it is necessary to take, and do well on either the SAT or ACT. Similar to the SAT and the ACT, exit exams must be of the appropriate rigor and difficulty. There are several different ways that states can ensure proper difficulty.
Higher education professionals can assist their middle and high school counterparts in numerous ways to ensure rigor and credibility in any exit test. One of those ways is obvious: they show their respect for such tests by making them major considerations in admissions or placement decisions. (Reising 1)
Like Reising said, college professors can help to create the tests and use them as a ways to place students in proper classes. If a test is necessary to get into college, why should there not be a necessary test to get out of high school?
Secondly, exit exams do ensure that graduating seniors have the capabilities to succeed at the next level, and they do so by pushing students to learn more and become more prepared. When a study on the success of exit tests in the current twenty four states using them was conducted by the Center of Education Policy, they examined strong evidence that exit exams provide a push for students to learn. “It also examined trends in exit-exam pass rates in the 16 states that had three or more consecutive years of data, and found modest increases in the proportions of students passing their states' exams” (Gewertz 1). Base on this information, it can be concluded that exit exams push students to better themselves academically. However, the use of exit exams, and the corresponding stress is causing some students to drop out of school. Although this is a cause of concern, the success...

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