Home > Standardized Testing > Standardized testing doesn’t prepare

Standardized testing doesn’t prepare

Students hate going back to school; it’s always the same old stuff: pretest after pretest over material that is going to be on the standardized tests.   What do the students benefit from this animal crackers and a juice box during their breaks?  These children are our future, shouldn’t we start teaching them things that they are going to use in the world rather than teach them things that are going to be on a test? The only goal students achieve from this intense preparation is the bubbling in of answers and how to memorize.   If the teachers in the school system today were to focus as much on preparing their students for college and real life applications, as they do on standardized test, then maybe it wouldn’t be such a shock when they get out of there protective bubble and get into the real world. College is a different setting in which students study for the major they are going into. Lower education and mainly high schools have basically built their education system around standardized testing.  This has a negative impact on not only the student’s lives but also their future as well as ours. These students will be running our country one day and they will be making the decisions.

                When students today are going through school they don’t realize how sheltered their lives truly are and how much the school system is centered around standardized testing. This is all they have known so it’s hard for them to adjust and live their lives as well as figure out things that they were never taught in school. Yes there does need to be some sort of test to determine whether students are truly learning when they go to school, but it should be more related to real world problem solving.  As a former student from a high school that only based their education of standardized testing it was a very unexpected change for me from high school to college or even the work force. All I ever knew was to practice and wait for the teacher to give me answers. In college it is a totally different setting, if you are unable to find an answer you just have to look even harder. There isn’t someone over your shoulder telling you the correct way or answer to a problem and the same goes for the work force. School is supposed to be a place where children can learn as well as a place in which they can prepare for the work force.  Think about it these kids are our future and they will be running our country. Upper level education allows students to prepare and become comfortable with the tools that they learn; this is the goal.

One possible reason why students do not do well on these tests is because they are not supplied adequately with the tools they need such as books, computers, or teachers who do not have proper certification. These students more than likely come from families that are from a lower class. They are unable to provide their children with proper nutrition (which is important in taking these tests because it helps you focus better), health care, and housing. They may also have family issues in which they are stuck in the middle of everything and suffer maybe not only physically but mentally as well and this again can affect their performance. Many students also have trouble learning material from just reading it and then bubbling in an answer. These students may be more of hands on learners, this happens quite frequently and it is unfair to these students because they are not learning .  Some of the questions asked on these tests are not exactly fair for all. For example certain social classes or geographical areas may have an unfair advantage over others. Also there are the students who just don’t care what they score on these tests because they have no affect on their GPA or whether they pass or not.

 It is sad to know that taking these test make students want to drop out of school. I have to say that I don’t blame them. I absolutely hated taking these tests and honestly how did it benefit me? I am not a good test taker but will do all that I can to learn material and perform well, but that doesn’t always happen.  A study from Harvard was conducted and it proved that these grade to grade testing increases dropout rates. Also the National Center for Fair and Opening Testing states that these tests do not produce improved learning for the ones who do stay in school. So what is the point? I thought school was for learning and expanding your knowledge about things you are interested in but apparently it is to make the teacher look good. So what one school ranked highest in the nation what does that prove that the teachers well prepared their students?

Categories: Standardized Testing
  1. Student of MSU
    December 7, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    I totally agree with you. I was also in a high school that had standardized testing. This did not benefit me any. The time of the test the teachers would say, please try your best the class that scores the highest will recieve a field trip. This was how they got us to try to do good on the tests. Instead of them teaching us the approiate material and preparing us for college they were more worried about us doing well on the tests. Im not going to lie the day that I started college i felt like a puppy that has lost it mother. I had no idea what i was doing what i needed to do. I took me a week or two to prepare myself for college. I should have done been prepared for college if my high school would have done their job.

  2. Keily Thornsbury
    December 7, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    I absolutely agree! Standardized testing just makes the teachers teach to the curriculum. Teachers are molding young minds, what are they learning? I hated standardized testing, not only because teaching only to the curriculum, but also I’m a horrible test taker and get all nervous when the teachers or faculty walk pass you. Teachers are teaching and molding young minds and soon our future leaders. Standardized testing keeps teachers in a box of what they can and can’t teach; there’s absolutely no creativity in the class room today. Also, it doesn’t prepare you for college or the “real-world”. They need to shift the focus off of only teaching to the test and teach us the important stuff too.

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