Standardized Tests and Their Effect on the Community
Prof. Moore / Saint Leo University
14 October 2012
There are many types of standardized tests used within schools to determine levels of intelligence and knowledge of subject matter. Teachers and the school board use these test results to determine areas that need improvement for the student and what subject areas they excel in. For students, many of them do not like taking tests especially when they hold a very high standard for where they are placed or what they are able to achieve from those results. Teachers can hold mixed viewpoints regarding the standardized tests because if a student has trouble taking tests but knows the subject matter then the results do not accurately reflect their knowledge. Students approach these standardized tests in a different ways. Some will study intensely to know the material because they want to do well on the test and often know how important they are to their success. Others will also study throughout the year or prior to the test but could allow their nerves to take over or exhibit such concern or fear over the test that they do not do well. The results of these tests are important but more is factored into them than just how well someone does on them. Being prepared, knowing the material, having good test taking skills, and a good attitude or being less stressed play a large part on the test score. Some of the standardized testing is done on an annual basis, during specific grade levels, or throughout high school in preparation for college entrance. FCAT is a test that many students and teachers in the 3rd, 5th, and 8th grade are aware of and take much time throughout the year preparing for the standards of the test because it determines whether a student is able to be promoted to the next grade level. This is one test in particular that students do not like simply because they know if they do not do well then they could be put in a class with lower standards or they may not be able to move up the following year. For students that transfer in from other states or another county where FCAT is not utilized, it is an adjustment that they must get used to in order to meet the standards of the particular state they live in and they could struggle with the test material. One reason is because the state or country they came from may be teaching at a higher or lower level or may not be covering the same material or curriculum. The SAT and ACT tests are more common for high school students and their entrance into colleges. These tests help gauge by test scores which classes they will be placed in when they attend college or whether they are exempt from specific classes. This testing, while very important to students, brings a different stress because of the ability to take it over and the amount of preparation time they have. The anticipation of the test result score can bring more tension than the actual test itself for the student. For anyone who left high school or received a general education diploma (GED), they may not have been exposed to these tests and would be required to take a college placement test (CPT) to determine their aptitude in mathematics, reading, and writing. Intelligence Quotient (IQ) tests are also given to determine intelligence levels of adults and children by a range of average scores for the specific age group. Because there is an average score range that most people are expected to fall within, if someone falls below that then they are not considered as intelligent. That stigma can cause people to think less of themselves or be looked down on in a community reducing respect that they would otherwise earn from their work standards or exhibited knowledge. Many jobs may use IQ tests to determine knowledge in addition to job specific or previous employment experience. IQ test studies have also been done to relate income levels with position and test results. This can...
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