To Test or Not To Test?

Why Standardized Testing is Not Relevant or Necessary in Today’s School System


Lexi Anchondo, Writer

Standardized testing has become a major staple in schools all throughout the U.S. It began in 1959 as the first American College testing exams, or ACTs. Texas is one of many states that require high school students to participate in standardized testing; however, parents, politicians, and educators are divided on the usefulness of these tests.

Standardized testing should cease to be required in American schools and colleges.

This method of testing serves to quiz a student, not on their ability to think through the question, but on their ability to know the answer. Students do not have the chance to be creative or form deeper thoughts in any field of testing. To pass any standardized test, students will learn only the answer formulated to be the most intelligent, and those who have a deeper thought process will be the ones who fail. An imaginative or creative thought is crucial in order to form important cognitive functions later in life.

Standardized testing is not an accurate measure of a student’s capabilities. Depending on what kind of student a person may be, or where or how a person was raised or taught, will affect the way a student may perform on the test. Not every student can be an exceptional test taker, especially online, and due to such a lack of consideration, nothing can be properly measured with standardized tests. Saying standardized testing is the most efficient way of determining a student’s capabilities is the same as the outdated standards and principles that such testing holds students to.

These methods of testing have long been outdated. There is an absurd number of obsolete practices that are being conducted through the tests, particularly regarding the standards held for students in core subject areas. While modifications have been made, the standards have been the same for a countless number of years. There needs to be a reform or a reevaluation of standardized testing on the understanding that it is no longer as effective as it was.

There is the major concern that there is no other way to evaluate a student; however, there are many other ways to implement testing for students. Performance or portfolio-based assessments, sampling, stealth assessments, and multiple measure are some of the different testing types that work as well or better than standardized testing. These incorporate more distinct kinds of data on student progress and school performance and are designed to get higher-order thinking skills. This achieves accountability at the district level. With these tests, there is no apprehension among students about forming an answer on their own, and it inspires more extensive cognitive ability.

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Even though standardized testing has been a modus operandi schools and colleges have used alike, it may be time for it to be revamped or removed. Standardized testing has always been a constant in students’ lives: a constant structure, practice, and stress. It has become a superfluous system. In the end, we should eliminate school-wide and college-wide standardized testing.