Exams that are given and graded according to established protocols are called standardized tests. Standardized tests may be broadly classified into aptitude tests and achievement tests. However, residents and school board members depend on standardized test results when judging a school’s performance.
Listed below are 15 issues with standardized testing:
- Students will resort to whatever means necessary to get a passing grade, including cheating and using performance-enhancing substances, since they know their test results may significantly impact their futures.
- Educators cheat on tests because they know their professional standing and financial stability are at stake.
- Standardized exams don’t give any guidance on how to do better. There are no guidelines supplied by test corporations on how to enhance exam scores, and the results aren’t returned to instructors and students for months.
- Standardized exams don’t appreciate originality. Writing a more creative answer in the margins of such an exam is futile since no human will ever see it; robots assess such tests, and any answer that does not strictly adhere to the structure is considered incorrect.
- Unlike non-standardized tests, standardized exams do not evaluate different types of examinations. Standardized test takers come from all walks of life and experience. This includes those who speak different languages, have varying levels of English proficiency, learn and think in different ways, come from different families, and have had different life histories. They are all treated the same by the exam since it has been “normed”, i.e., based on the performance of the first group of test-takers, the second and subsequent groups of test-takers will be compared to the “norm group”.
- Individuals that are socioeconomically advantaged are favoured on standardized examinations. Companies that make exams often provide study guides and other resources to help students “prepare for the test.” If you have the money, you may obtain expert instructors to help you perform well on an exam. You won’t get as much help studying for the exam if you don’t have the resources to do so and if your school is located in a poor socio-economic neighborhood that receives less financing than wealthier suburban schools.
7 “Teaching to the test” is becoming more common due to the increased weight on standardized test scores. In other words, there is little need to go over the content that isn’t going to be on the standardized exam, even if it is fascinating, engaging, valuable, or otherwise beneficial to the growth of a student’s knowledge of the world. Instead, students spend most of their time in class either taking exams or studying for them, eliminating any opportunity for basic education. The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) only examines reading, math, and science. Teachers and administrators pay far less attention to other disciplines like art, social studies, physical education, history, etc.
- Standardized examinations take place in a controlled learning setting where you aren’t allowed to roam, chat with other students, ask questions, access resources, or use any learning aids. They are also timed. When does this happen in the real world? One thinks about prisons. And yet, even the most hard-headed conservative would declare that education must educate pupils for “the real world.” Standardized testing doesn’t accomplish this.
- Standardized exams generate stress. There is a threshold of stress that some children can handle. Most of the class gives up. Therefore, once again, the playing field is not even. According to studies, stress may have negative effects on your brain and body. And when pressure is too much, the brain goes into “fight or flight,” rendering it incapable of the higher-order cognitive processes required to answer the exam questions accurately.
10 The use of standardized examinations simplifies the human experience and knowledge diversity into a single or series of scores. This is dehumanizing. A student with an extensive understanding of a topic can be unrecognized due to a low test result. Visual representation, oral presentation, or practical application may show a student’s knowledge. However, not in a test-taking environment. What can I say?
11, Superhumans did not create standardized exams. Weak brains created them. Lewis Terman, an early proponent of standardized tests in the United States, was also a racist (the book to read is The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould). Edward Thorndike, another early pioneer, studied rats in mazes. I mean, that’s the type of intellect every parent hopes their child will have. None of the finest minds of all time, including Albert Einstein (who famously failed many standardized tests), ever devised a test like the ones we use today. PhD-holding scholars in educational testing or educational psychology are often responsible for creating standardized examinations. If that’s the mindset you want your kid (or your student) develops, then, by all means, encourage it!
12, Standardized examinations give parents and educators a false feeling of security. A high test result indicates that the student has mastered the content. This, however, may not be the case at all. It’s possible that the student merely crammed for the exam by memorizing the information they knew they needed to succeed (some students are naturally gifted in taking standardized tests, others are not). A group of recent Harvard grads was quizzed on the seasonal temperature differences. The vast majority of those who attempted the question got it incorrect. They fared well on tests but failed because they lacked a deeper understanding of the material.
Instead of serving a pedagogical function, the objective of standardized testing is administrative, political, and financial. There is a colossal financial windfall for testing businesses. Better test scores are a popular campaign promise for politicians. By increasing students’ performance on standardized tests, administrators may get funds and avoid severe punishments. Almost everyone wins, except the kids. Their view is that standardized tests are useless and even harmful.
14 There are winners and losers in standardized testing.
” Those who are categorized as “my low pupils,” “my learning impaired youngsters,” or “my hesitant learners” are the ones who suffer. Even the most successful students cannot break free of the hamster wheel of academic pressure that keeps them in school for at least 16 and typically 20 years. Self-esteem issues and “low expectations” harm those who come out on the losing end. The winners experience a loss of soul because they are mostly just trained seals performing for fast-track parents. They may reach middle age at the pinnacle of their power and success. Still, they have lost touch with their moral compass, sense of beauty, quest for spiritual enlightenment, capacity for compassion, imagination, and will to live.
- Finally, the most crucial reason I think standardized examinations are bad is that a child’s time spent taking a test may be put to far better use: learning something new and engaging!