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Why Standardized Tests Are Not Really Reliable Assessments

1562 words - 6 pages

Throughout the United States standardized testing is a popular way that educators measure a student’s academic ability. Although it may seem like a good idea to give a bunch of students the same test and see how each one does, it is not that simple. The results do not represent how smart a student is or a student's potential to do great things in the real world. In taking a standardized test one student may have a greater advantage over another for many reasons. Reasons that are not shown in the standardized test score.
There are many issues one might face when about to take a test, some students may "have something major interfering with their ability to focus, may miss or not perform well" (Baxter,Mella). No test score can show what that kid has been through, over come, or is going through at the time of the test. There is also no way to show how many hours each student studied. Just because a student does not perform well on one test, should not foreshadow their future.
Tests have been taken and the results are shown to be biased towards students from wealthy areas, most likely because they can afford more educational resources then students from poor areas. “The private test preparation market for the SAT and the ACT is a $2 billion-a-year industry in the U.S. “(Westervelt ,Eric ). Families living in suburban neighborhoods typically have a higher income than those living in urban neighborhoods, which enables them to have more resources. This is an unfair advantage because not every student is being set up for success.
If everyone could afford a tutor then those who cannot would most likely have higher SAT and ACT scores. Tutors can teach students tricks on the SAT and ACT. These tricks are key to know when taking standardized tests, because the test is not only about what you know but about knowing good test taking strategies. Test taking strategy is a main factor when taking the SAT or ACT. Even though you may know a lot of facts and information, there are a lot of tricks on the test. Without knowing these tricks it is very hard to recognize the right answer in the time allowed. The student with a tutor and the student without a tutor had scored the same on the test, the student without the tutor would have done better on the test with the help of a tutor. This is why it is not a fair test of one’s ability. The SAT and ACT tests are so unfair to so many children that it is unacceptable. Standardized Testing is given to a "wide variety of children throughout the nation, it does not take into consideration that "one test does not fit all" "(Bhattacharyya, Sumita). Every student is different in their abilities and challenges and that is something this test cannot measure.
Another problem with standardize testing is some students do not perform well on tests. Maybe test taking just isn't that child's talent; a student that does not perform well on a standardized test may be the...

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