Standardized testing provides no benefits to students


Madeleine Travis

The SAT and AP tests are both timed along with other materials that College Board produces. For people who already have a great deal of stress while test taking looking up to see a clock ticking away does a huge disservice to them.

Madeleine Travis, Dispatch Reporter

Imagine you’re nine-years-old and for weeks, you have to sit silently in a chair, taking 60+ question tests for an average of five hours a day. This is the reality of standardized testing for many students.
Originally developed to help prepare students for college around 1916, standardized tests now haunt students from grades three to twelve. For most students in Texas, the STAAR test is the first big test introduced early in elementary education. This test stays very prominent until the introduction of SAT, TSI and AP tests students are burdened with, on top of the STAAR.
Upon entering high school students are introduced to AP testing during sophomore year. Many students will also take AP electives like computer science or music theory in addition to the core classes. AP classes aren’t mandated for students to take but students are highly pressured by parents, staff and even other students to save money in college.
Tests that are mandated in high school include the SAT, TSI and the STAAR test up until senior year. These tests consist heavily of math and reading-based curriculum and are extremely strenuous and boring to take. These tests normally take four or more hours which is hard for anyone to stay focused the whole time.
Standardized testing should be a thing of the past, there are so many other professions that people can go into these days that have nothing to do with math or reading which is making these big tests fade in relevance.
On top of the unnecessary aspect of the tests in this day in time, they cause students great stress while taking them.
The SAT and AP tests are both timed along with other materials that College Board produces. For people who already have a great deal of stress while test taking looking up to see a clock ticking away does a huge disservice to them.
In one of my first AP classes, we were trained to take one minute per question on the multiple-choice section of the test. All of the questions aren’t the same and some have huge paragraphs that you have to read including the questions which means you either take extra time to read it fully or rush through all the answers to avoid losing that time.
Students’ scores on these tests may not be entirely accurate because they’re too busy trying to scan the passage and the answers, which means they won’t be able to fully process the question and have a higher chance of getting it wrong. Not to mention many of the multiple-choice answers are extremely similar, resulting in many students picking an answer that’s incorrect.
Standardized testing is overused and doesn’t measure a student’s knowledge, the tests are one-size-fits-all approach and this leads to inaccuracies. The student’s learning style and overall personal experiences aren’t taken into account when taking the test. A student with broad knowledge of the topics and testing anxiety could fail the test just based on the fact that they aren’t a good test taker.
Nevertheless, they’re given a score that will “define” their academic abilities. This is problematic because some students will base their self-worth on a letter or number grade, which causes a snowballing negative effect later on.
Another issue with standardized testing is most of the parental support is still behind it. This makes it hard for change to occur when most adults say that standardized testing is a good thing. This is unfair to the students because they’re the ones actually taking the standardized tests. Meanwhile, the adults are obsessing about the numeral grades and not the real effect it has on the students and possibly even future generations.
The standardized testing system is also corrupt because the areas that are suburban and wealthy get tested more frequently as opposed to schools with lower income or rural areas. Meaning the people initiating the tests are picking and choosing which areas they want to report from and not getting a fair view of the community.
Overall, standardized testing should be done away with because it causes loads of stress, and lowers students’ creative opportunities. This also decreases students’ self-confidence and increases the lack of motivation in students. Which in turn is hard on the school and community as a whole because students aren’t motivated to do the things they’re passionate about.