The Problems With Standardized Testing  Essay

1889 words - 8 pages

"If my future were determined just by my performance on a standardized test, I wouldn't be here." -- Michelle Obama

Standardized tests have historically been used as measures of how students are compared with one another or how much of a particular curriculum they have learned throughout the semester or year. Consequently, standardized tests are being used to make major decisions about students, such as grade promotion or high school graduation, and higher education evaluation. Various numbers of students across America have had to repeat classes because of the way standardized tests are used to pass or fail students. Although the tests require students to retain information until the end of the semester, I believe it is wrong to allow just a single test to decide whether an entire semester’s work will be rewarded with the credits that may have been well-earned. Some standardized testing such as the SAT, are not fair to students who may come from a poor educational background and do not retain information as their fellow peers. Students are at a disadvantage if they have test taking anxiety, which is a condition that many students suffer from “a feeling someone might have in a situation where performance really counts or when the pressure's on to do well” (Test Anxiety). Standardized tests give a false pretense of objectivity and consequently of equal opportunity. However, "the only goal of standardized tests is the scoring, which is done by machine" (Facts on Standardized Tests and Assessment Alternatives). It is made clear that the purpose of testing is to provide information to be used in conjunction with, not in place of, teacher judgment, then educators might view standardized tests as a beneficial addition, rather than an intrusion, to their classroom instruction.While standardized test are meant as a balance to assure that state and local curricula cover certain topics, standardized tests have been shown to be more bias then anything. Classes become based on the tests and little else on the creativity of the students.

In various ways, standardized test are beneficial from tracking students’ progress over the years to not allowing teachers emotions to get in the way of the testing process.  Standardized testing sets expectations high for students and it does hold them accountable for the same standards, which may lead to achievement gains. By looking at the students’ performance they will be able to determine how well they retain information. Also the school is able to learn what their students are able to do and what they cannot do compared to other school districts, so they would be able to improve their education system. When giving more personal assessments, it is very possible “that the teacher or person assessing the student can let their emotions or biases affect how they score that student” (Gross).  In most cases, standardized tests are objective. There are wrong or right answers, and there is no room for feelings or...

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