Standardized test scores can be a determining factor in the success of students education. Each and every student has a different learning style, which gives teachers and institutions a hard time catering to every student’s needs.
Standardized tests are not a legitimate way of testing student’s knowledge or the educational quality at a school. Some students may excel in test taking, while other students lack those qualities, making standardized tests an unreliable measure of students’ intelligence. Tests such as the SAT and ACT are required for most college admissions, forcing students to take them.
But do they accurately show a student’s educational potential or abilities?
The answer is no. According to The National Center for Fair and Open Testing, standardized testing isn’t a helpful evaluation tool because such tests don’t measure the ability to think deeply or creatively. Along with a narrow spectrum of questions, most standardized tests are timed. Many students don’t work well under pressure or when they’re racing a clock. This added stress could also contribute to lower score outcomes, again not producing a true, valid measure of intelligence.
Another drawback of standardized testing is that teachers will “teach to the test.” Meaning that teachers will teach their students what they know will be evaluated on the standardized tests, leaving out information they are supposed to be teaching. Teachers do this because they feel as if they have no control over their professional lives and the scores of their students on standardized tests. If teachers’ jobs are on the line when it comes to their students’ scores, they will do what they can to reinforce the success of their students on standardized tests. This takes away from the curriculum students should have learned, taking away the knowledge they are supposed to gain for their future education.
According to a study by the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, a “one-size-fits-all” approach for the use of standardized tests doesn’t reflect the realities of the country’s colleges and universities. Some universities’ Deans of Admissions are debating whether or not the SAT or other standardized tests are necessary for the college admission process. With the SAT and ACT becoming optional, many students would feel at ease and be relieved of a huge amount of pressure to perform well on these tests.
Students everywhere feel as if the fate of their educational path is reliant on tests like the SAT or ACT. Along with that, teachers also feel as if the fate of their careers is dependent on the student’s ability to succeed. The practice of standardized tests does more harm than good to everyone involved.
There are far too many styles of learning between each and every student, making it impossible to administer a test that is fair to everyone. The “one-size-fits-all” method is not ideal when it comes to the importance of these scores. It’s proven that standardized testing is an unfair, inaccurate measure of students’ true knowledge and intelligence.