Is Standardized Testing Positive or Negative

With the recent introduction to common core, people face standardized testing with ambivalence. While they allow students to experience normal testing situations and measure their progress against their peers, standardized exams often do more harm than good. They can negatively impact students in many ways. Despite having some positive aspects, standardized testing puts too much pressure on students, discourages divergent thinking, and often fails to measure success.

Standardized tests puts a lot of pressure on students and teachers to receive high test scores and often results in a decrease in motivation, narrowing of the curriculum, and does not lead to learning. The high stakes testing puts too much pressure on students forcing them to no longer “be engaged in enhancing experiences for the pure joy of learning” (Standardized Testing Has Negatively Impacted Public Schools 5). The duress dictated by the test causes students to become frustrated and, eventually, students will become uninterested and stop doing their work. Furthermore, the pressure of the tests results in teachers narrowing the curriculum to only teach students the information they need to receive a higher score (Standardized Testing Has Negatively Impacted Public Schools 6). Because of this, students will not get a full understanding of the course of study. This will directly impact the student’s grades due to the decrease in curriculum. Additionally, little information has existed showing that standardized tests have actually improved learning (Standardized Testing Has Negatively Impacted Public Schools 5). Therefore, these tests are useless and a waste of time. Students should not be forced to take this test with no proof of a positive outcome.

Standardized tests seek answers that are not different or distinct, forcing kids to be the same as everybody else and preventing teachers to teach life skills. The biggest problem with standardized tests is that they seek standardized answers (GPA, SAT, ACT… RIP 1). Tests do not allow kids to excel in creativity, but rather them respond with a narrow minded answer. Likewise, tests fail to assess higher level thinking. Tests have taken the power of teachers to teach useful instruction and learning practical information, such as decision making, and instead resorting to “skill-drill” teaching (Standardized Testing Has Negatively Impacted Public Schools 7). Beneficial information needed to help students with everyday life is more important than drilling information on how to take a test. Testing prohibits teachers to instruct skills that are needed in everyday life. Parents want their kids to be uncommon, not common; unique, not the same (GPA, SAT, ACT… RIP 2). Every parent wants their kid to be different. What parent would want their child to be like everybody else?

Standardized tests do not measure many attributes that contribute to success. These tests also unfairly discriminate bad test-takers. Scores on a test usually don’t provide a direct and complete measure of educational achievement (Standardized Tests Do Not Effectively Measure Student Achievement 2). Schools measure one’s ability to comprehend a subject. Poor test takers are differentiated because of their lack of timing or environment. Standardized tests do not shed light on measures of success, such as “grit” and “resilience” (GPA, SAT, ACT… RIP 1). Testing only analyses subjects such as reading, grammar, science, and math. It doesn’t focus on certain characteristics that will lead to future success. Studies of students have found a statistical association between kids with high scores on standardized tests and relatively shallow thinking (Standardized Tests Do Not Effectively Measure Student Achievement 3). Shallow thinking, obviously, is a negative characteristic that tests are rewarding. Standardized tests should focus on things that will provide an accurate and reasonable validation for success.

Critics may believe that standardized tests are a good way to increase student learning, however, testing does not always lead to learning. This is because of the timing and pressure of the test. When kids feel pressure to receive high test scores “they naturally resort to doing things that will earn them [lower test scores]” (Standardized Testing Has Negatively Impacted Public Schools 5) . Testing overemphasizes factual knowledge and low-level skills.

Standardized testing has put too much pressure on students and teachers to succeed resulting in a decrease in motivation, narrowing of the curriculum, and does not lead to learning. In addition, the tests seek answers that are original and common. Lastly, the test does not measure many attributes that contribute to success. Standardized tests are a waste of time and have provided no proof of positive results. Therefore, these tests are negative and should not be taken.