Why Standardized Tests Are Ineffective at Measuring a Student's Capabilities

Topics: Standardized test, Education, SAT Pages: 2 (588 words) Published: January 17, 2012
A Test Destined For Failure
In America, standardized testing has become a prevalent method for testing the educational ability of students. Tests such as the SAT for College and the California STAR for elementary and junior high students have been administered since the beginning of the 20th century. These tests are often considered by many as crucial for the academic progression of students into further education, such as an elementary student being promoted from third to fourth grade or a high school senior applying to college. However, standardized tests have setbacks which could jeopardize a student’s future academic progression given he/she fails to pass. Therefore, I believe standardized tests are ineffective at measuring a student’s capabilities and hence interfere with true academic learning.

Standardized tests assess the capability of the student to react to the test in an appropriate manner. It does not factor in true knowledge retention, the key element to a successful academic exam. Students who are faced with any form of disadvantage are most drastically affected by the consequences of standardized testing. The National Center for Fair and Open Testing (FairTest) calls these tests “very inaccurate and encourage the use of overly academic, developmentally inappropriate primary schooling.” “Inappropriate schooling” is described as “schooling not appropriate to the child's emotional, social or intellectual development and to the variation in children's development.” Students who are incapable of possessing necessary test-taking skills such as focusing for long durations, budgeting time, etc… fail these tests while their true knowledge of the material may prove otherwise. Students who rely on rote memorization and superficial knowledge pass the test when in fact they should not.

Standardized tests are commonly and widely criticized for their bias towards children of “privileged background[s]” who more likely than others possess “a set of...
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