Studies show that the common student takes 112 authorized standardized tests between pre-school and senior year. In today’s world, standardized tests are a source to make serious choices about students, including grade advancement or high school graduation, and higher education assessment. Supporters of standardized test say that they are fair, objective, and accurate while critics say that they are unreliable, biased, and flawed. Most people either think it is the most effective way to measure students’ abilities or it is a headache for everyone involved. Standardized testing has triggered a national debate in recent years.
By definition, standardized tests are administered and scored in a consistent, or standard, matter. Standardized tests were initially set up as a measurement that everyone could use as a indicator of achievement. In the United States, students begin taking standardized tests in elementary school. They are given identically in every school and classroom all around the world. Most of us are accustomed to the traditional multiple choice format, but they can also cover true-false questions, short-answer questions, essay questions, or a mixture of question types. Many people debate just how effective they are on students’ education.
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Standardized tests are beneficial because they provide measurements of the everyday performance of students in their particular grade level. This helps highlight those who may need further assistance and who may need to move up to a more advanced class. It also shows teachers and parents whether or not each child is learning at the correct pace. A strong standardized test score can show colleges that you are ready to take on the challenge of college.
The primary purpose of each grade level is to prepare students for the next grade level, and to help them succeed in the real world. It may not prepare them for life necessarily, but it can ensure them a good academic future which leads to a good job. The world outside of school is challenging. Standardized test can help prepare you for your future. As long as you try your best, there is no failure.
Walberg says, Students who practice demonstrating their knowledge and skills on standardized tests throughout their school career become better prepared to meet future educational, occupational, and professional goals. While the rigor of these tests may change at the college level, the content on the tests are designed to help prepare students for the difficulty of college. Standardized test taking develops habits that help students not only with the test but throughout life. (Walberg) The workforce today requires more educated and advanced workers, which requires individuals to study intensively to pass necessary tests.
With so much depending on the test results, teachers often feel forced to teach the test. This means that teaching and learning has only became an activity that prepares students to test according to state standards. Many teachers just want their students to pass the test to make themselves look good instead of assuring that students are learning the information.
Teachers are put under pressure for their students to do well on the tests. They have to be anxious all year about testing and how well their students will do instead of being anxious about their students actually learning. Many teachers are evaluated based on test scores in subjects they have never taught. Teachers who teach more advanced classes are obviously going to have higher test scores than those of the standard class.
The load to better education in public schools has pushed teachers to boost the use of memorization and drills that force students to move away from thinking methods that help them in reasonable conditions.
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