Written by: Britney Bullington
A standardized test is any form of test or examination that requires all test takers to answer the same questions in the same way in a standardized manner. These tests are given to students to determine if they have met the basic skills and knowledge required for that particular grade. The scores of these tests usually determine the student’s’ academic success. Failing the test could possibly meaning failing that grade for the year, despite if the student has passed the year on his/her report card.
Throughout the course of several years, administration and the state have stressed the importance of differentiation to teachers when teaching their students. Every student learns differently from their classmates. Some students learn better from hearing the lesson whereas some students may benefit more if they were to handwrite the lesson. In order to accommodate these particular needs, teachers are supposed to include varied methods of teaching in their lesson plans.
It is sometimes difficult or challenging for teachers to teach their students in a different way because their students are not always at the same academic level. One student may be at a 3rd grade reading level while another student could be at a 12th grade reading level.
To say that all students are to receive the same exact test that comes from the same exact bank of questions is ludicrous and completely and utterly unfair. All students have a different intelligence level. Giving a test to a student who is academically gifted and would answer the questions with no difficulty and giving the same exact test to their classmate who is academically challenged and would struggle with answering the questions would not make any sense whatsoever. To put it in simple terms, standardized testing does not work.
SLO’s and EOCTs are the two of the forms of standardized testing provided to high schoolers. At the end of each semester, every student is required to take these tests. SLOs (Student Learning Objectives) is a component that serves as an indicator for the teacher’s impact of student growth. They are course specific, meaning they are elective classes, not common core classes, and only certain classes are required to administer them. They count for 20% of the student’s final semester grade. EOCTs (End of Court Tests) are administered to common core classes, such as Language Arts, Biology, etc. Like SLOs, they also count for 20% of the student’s final semester grade. These tests are given at different times at the end of each semester. They are used to measure academic performance and to determine if every student has met the required academic progression for that semester.
Standardized tests are extremely stressful on both the student and the teacher. They spend a large majority of time preparing for the test that could potentially negatively affect their future.
Students are aware that the test could make them or break them, and they go to extraordinary lengths to make sure that they ace their test. Students study for several hours at a time, which can be very unhealthy, and will sometimes take illegal drugs to help them stay awake while studying, which is also very unhealthy and dangerous. The amount of stress put on students because of standardized testing is enormous. Scientific studies and research have proven again and again that stress can have a negative effect on the body, causing mental, emotional, and physical illnesses/injuries. Because of this, some may say that administering standardized tests puts a student’s health at risk, so these tests should no longer continue to be given to them.
Standardized tests are very inaccurate when determining a student’s intelligence level. For each subject, one test is given to each student. If they fail that test, they are considered to not have met the required knowledge for that semester for that particular subject.
A student that could have a 4.0 GPA and could have never failed a single thing in their life, but they could fail their standardized test, and they will automatically be judged based on that one test. The tests do not receive the proper amount of information or data about a student to judge their intelligence. Sometimes, students just do really bad on a test. They could be smart enough and have the proper knowledge required, but for some reason, they might just mess up the test. One test should not have the power to determine a student’s success.
Standardized tests should never have been created. A student’s success should not be determined by one test. It should be solely determined by the student’s grades for the entire semester. Standardized tests overlook diversity, are extremely stressful on students and teachers, are highly inaccurate, and are just overall unreasonable. Standardized testing is very, very bad and should no longer be a requirements for students to take.