Does Standardized Testing Enhance Student Learning?

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Standardized testing is a controversial issue for students who attend any type of school or institution. Testing for success and knowledge is the way to understand if students are capable of learning. Standardized testing is a test that is administered and used to identify student’s intellect based on using consistent practices. It is tested on various subjects that are all consistently timed, scored, and administered the same.

Standardized testing is not qualified to enhance student learning. Testing is supposed to be a task that helps students progress and learn. A number or a score is not a beneficial way to estimate student intelligence. Standardized testing does not evaluate student’s intellect fairly and influences poor student performance. Therefore, all standardized testing should be removed from all grade schools.

In particular, standardized testing only asses on minimal subject areas that have a wide-range of tasks that do not benefit future learning. This type of testing is used for elementary to high school students. The tests are meant to get a baseline score of how a single student can process the information in a timely matter.

Standardized tests have sections that process certain subject areas like math, reading, grammar, science, and writing. Given that these subjects serve as the universal topics it weakens the opportunity for students to learn and concentrate on more topics they enjoy.

Researchers believe that scores on standardized tests do not adequately serve has a final determining factor of a student’s achievement. Results found that, “… tests can measure only a portion of the goals of education, which are necessarily broader and more inclusive than the tests could possibly be…” (Harris P. et al.).

These tests do not allocate for student’s creativity, passions, or their future. These tests are also zoning into a small part topics that do not increase a student’s future plans in the workplace. Often times, the subjects being tested have a variety of skills that need to be mastered in order to obtain a passing grade. The skills being tested are not helping students learn new educational varieties. It is only assessing them on what should be attained at a certain grade level. The way standardized tests are set up have the potential to evolve and become a much more creative test that all students can take that they have an interest in. This makes an important factor in the way standardized tests should not be endorsed and should consider focusing on relevant education that is necessary for future success.

Furthermore, standardized testing processes students to only learn for the test. Learning is not supposed to be one objective task. Learning is all about progression one can make to influence an impact in their higher-level thinking skills. Teaching to the test is not a vital way to instruct students. Student learning has to be expanded to other subjects and concepts rather than what is tested for standardized testing.

All students should not be judged based on a number ranking that is given to them based on placement tests. No number is qualified to rate a student’s intellect level. Teaching to the test also forms a negative representation of a student’s full knowledge.

Professional educators displays that, “some schools allocate more than a quarter of the year’s instruction time to test preparation, and students learn merely to identify correct answers to multiple choice questions instead of learning to apply knowledge to problems to find solutions” (Kozol par. 16).

These research findings, conduct that schools are teaching to the tests instead of teaching more diverse learning. In order to educate students, teaching must be strayed away from standardized testing strategies and focus more on competent sources of education.

Standardized testing is not necessary if it just acknowledges a few subjects to master in. Schools have a broad source of education and standardized testing should not limit a student on their capabilities. This is an imperative issue that has made standardized testing flawed and schools should start to teach more cognitive subjects rather than focusing on bubbling a correct answer on a state test.

As a matter of fact, standardized testing causes stress levels to increase for students because of the high stakes testing is perceived as. Not to mention, the more a student suffers from anxiety or stress in a testing situation can distract them, and they can lose focus easily.

Losing focus can ultimately make scores lower than what is expected or planned based on the worrying tendencies of students. The stress levels occur when students are being pressured to pass with high scores. For example, college acceptance scores for a standardized test are usually high and if students do not get the high score they desire, it causes stress. Researchers from an educational journal stated, “testing increases pressure and stress on children, which sets them up for failure, lowered self-esteem and potential health risks” (Haladyna et al. par. 18).

With the amount of pressure being put on students, it can affect the way they take their tests. Some ways students can be affected is by overthinking, anxiety problems, and distractedness. The amount of time students have to prepare for tests lowers their chance of scoring high. Standardized testing is pressuring students to study more to achieve higher scores which considers them to have lack of sleep and an increase in anxiety and stress.

Also, students can feel like they are not smart enough or worthy to attain sufficient test scores when they are repeatedly taking standardized tests. This shows that standardized testing is not a beneficial factor for student’s well-being and lifestyles. This shows that standardized testing is not an effective way to test students and that they should not be given in order to reduce the pressure and stress students get from testing often.

Although, with all the negative affects standardized testing produces for education, it does present a beneficial factor by focusing directly on the content and skills needed for testing. Understanding that standardized tests are used for all grade levels K-12, can interpret a range of subjects that need to be mastered.

Certain subjects need to be mastered in order for progression to the next grade level. Giving students the direct access to learn the material on the tests allows for better results. It also can help students prepare for higher level testing strategies as they age into older grade levels. This also helps the state education board to assess student learning to make sure they are on pace with the grade they are in.

However, after the test has been administered there is no benefit to the standards learned previously. All year preparation for a standardized test does not give students the education they need. Yet, researchers still proclaim, “… contemporary teaching is focused mostly on success in testing and meeting imposed standards as opposed to developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills” (Klein et al. par. 10).

This statement expresses the point that the education students are receiving is only beneficial to standardized tests rather than actual learning skills. Students are not receiving the best education if all schools are preparing them to take standardized tests at the end of the year. Standardized tests are not an effective representation of students’ intellect levels and are not being used correctly to enhance student learning.

Altogether, there should be no direct standard for a certain age or grade that students are in. Everyone learns and obtains certain subjects differently. Just because a state education board says everything needs to be ranked in a certain percentile to make sure every student is on pace is unfair.

Students learn and develop in different areas that are not given in standardized testing. If standardized testing were not to be given, then the curriculum in each class would have to increase to make sure students are being judged fairly and adequately. Standardized test preparation is taking up too much class time that there is no time for actual learning. Most often, teachers will just teach students the way the testing answers are regulated.

Teaching to the test is not beneficial because students need to be taught practical and well merited education. Continuing standardized testing will damage the new students’ progress of learning. It will not teach students how to comprehend other knowledge besides testing information.

School takes up a big portion of students’ lives, and the time and effort being put into school should reciprocate unlimited results. Teaching students real-world skills and better reasoning should be the main priority, not filling in circles. Therefore, student learning is vital and standardized tests are not an efficient way to improve student education.

Cite this paper

Does Standardized Testing Enhance Student Learning?. (2020, Sep 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/does-standardized-testing-enhance-student-learning/

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