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The Pass Fail System Of Standardized Tests

1369 words - 5 pages

The Pass Fail System of Standardized Tests

Standardized tests have historically been used as measures of how
students compare with each other or how much of a particular curriculum they
have learned. Increasingly, standardized tests are being used to make major
decisions about students, such as grade promotion or high school graduation,
and schools. More and more often, they also are intended to shape the curriculum
and instruction. Students across America have had to repeat classes because of
the way standardized tests are used to pass or fail students. Students have had
to rely on just one test to pass them for the whole semester (FairTest). 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 will the credit that may have been well earned.
Even general standardized tests such as the SAT, which almost every high
school student has taken, are not fair to students who may come from a poor
educational background (Standardized Minds). Students are at a disadvantage if
they have test taking anxiety, a condition that many students suffer from. If a
student is having a bad day or going through a rough time on a test day, this
may also determine their entire semester’s work. Standardized tests are often
based on one topic, giving the student little room to express their strong points.
Tests are called "high-stakes" when they used to make major decisions
about a student, such as high school graduation or grade promotion. Tests are
called "standardized" when all students answer the same questions under similar
conditions and their responses are scored in the same way. Research has shown
that high-stakes testing causes damage to individual students and education. It
is not a reasonable method for improving schools. Test-taking anxiety is common
among high school and college students. The anxiety can be quite stressful and
sometimes weakening, both personally and academically. It is a condition that
thousands of students suffer from and it is something that they cannot help or
overcome by the time of a test. Students who suffer from this often get very
panicked by exams, and most of the time they draw a blank during a test, even
though they know the material well (High-stakes). This anxiety is very difficult for
students to overcome especially when the test results will determine whether or
not they will pass the course, or even graduate. I believe that the school board
should take this into consideration and recognize that intelligent students who do
well in school also suffer from this anxiety. Tests are designed to evaluate what
was learned over a period of time, not to punish the student for what may
confuse them on a test. When standardized tests contain other information that
may not have been covered in class students often...

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