Standardized tests are a common method of measuring students’ performance, prowess, and progress. They require that students answer similar questions, which are later scored and the results compared. In the United States, the education system administers standardized tests at particular stages, such as grades three and eight, which aim to assess the progress of these students (Stromquist 116). Standardized tests mostly leave out mechanical and emotional intelligence, as they only focus on comprehension. Although these tests try to showcase equality and are affordable, they do not necessarily reflect a student’s knowledge, encourage cheating, and only test one aspect of the learning process: comprehension.
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Standardized tests focus on measuring one aspect of learning: comprehension, making it unfavorable for all. The student population is diverse in abilities and gifts, and while the standardized tests seek to assess academic progress, they ignore other aspects of learning such as test-taking skills, artistic, vocational, and musical abilities, and working memory issues (Stromquist 118). For example, some students could require extended periods to process some types of information while others have problems taking tests. Standardized tests do not have such accommodation, and therefore, these students will automatically perform below their abilities. In such cases, the tests do not correctly reflect the students’ abilities, making it erroneous and unreliable. Thus, standardized tests only measure a single aspect of learning, making it ineffective for measuring students’ progress.
Standardized testing encourages cheating, especially since the students, teachers, and parents are looking for the best results. Across the United States, a student’s score in standardized testing matters too much, driving the test takers to anything, including cheating to get the best results, which compromises learning (Christina 1-2). Teachers get a pay raise when they post better results, parents are proud of their children, and the students get a chance to join their preferred universities and colleges at the end of it all. Therefore, the standardized tests majorly focus on results rather than learning, reducing the quality of education and encouraging cheating.
The tests do not necessarily reflect a student’s knowledge. In 2002, the United States introduced the No Child Left Behind initiative, and since then, the time students spent on music, sciences, art, and social studies reduced by 40% (Knoester and Wayne 2). As the initiative focused more on standardized tests and the results produced, teachers and students invested more in mathematics and reading, compromising other aspects of student knowledge. Therefore, talented students who could perform better in the aforementioned ignored subjects will never have their knowledge reflected in standardized test results. Thus, standardized tests do not necessarily reflect a student’s knowledge.
In conclusion, standardized tests do not accurately reflect a student’s knowledge, encourage cheating, and only test one aspect of the learning process, making them inefficient in assessing students’ progress. Since students differ in abilities and gifts, there should be an all-inclusive testing system that can determine how students are progressing in their specific areas of proficiency. Also, this results-driven approach to education drives students and teachers to desperate measures that include cheating to enhance test performance. Lastly, since the standardized tests only focus on one aspect of learning, the test results do not reflect the abilities of all students, making them inaccurate. In short, there is a need for a better assessment method to replace standardized tests.
Christina, Simpson. “Effects of Standardized Testing on Students’ Well-Being.” Projects at Harvard, projects.iq.harvard.edu/files/eap/files/c._simpson_effects_of_testing_on_well_being_5_16.pdf. Accessed 9 July 2021.
Knoester, Matthew, and Wayne Au. “Standardized testing and school segregation: Like tinder for fire?” Race Ethnicity and Education 20.1 (2017): 1-14.
Stromquist, Nelly P. “Standardized testing and the promise of progress.” (2017).
What Mistakes to Avoid in Essays on Standardized Testing
Keep in mind this list of the most common mistakes in an argumentative essay on standardized testing to avoid them while writing:
- Violation of logic. If you select illiterate arguments, the content becomes incoherent, and you violate the consistency of logic in this way.
- Verbosity. Try to use only the words you really need. If something can be crossed out without prejudice to understanding the meaning, cross it out.
- Spelling mistakes. Often, they are found in important terms. Get a dictionary of terms before you start writing a standardized test essay.
- Speech errors. You should use phraseological units choicely, watch how all words combine with each other, try to avoid repetitions, and select the right synonyms and antonyms. For creating contrasts, do not confuse paronyms.
- Avoid stylistic mistakes. Watch your written language. Don’t fill your essay with poor vocabulary.
- A good essay doesn’t contain factual errors. This will demonstrate your competence. Moreover, you will have more chances to get a high grade.
Writing an interesting persuasive essay on standardized testing is easy. The main thing is to think everything over in advance and bring to perfection every detail.
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