Standardized Testing

Topics: Standardized test, Test, Psychometrics Pages: 4 (1352 words) Published: April 25, 2005
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,...
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