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Standardized Testing and What It Really Shows

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Kristen LaPan

Dr. Frank Bisher

27 March 2017

ENG 101-07

Standardized Testing… Is It Good Or Not?

        A big topic today is whether or not standardized testing really shows what students are capable of.  As a teenager in college I have grown up most of my life taking standardized tests and watching the world fight over what good it does.  There are many reasons why I am opposed to standardized testing.  They include how much extra stress standardized testing puts onto students. How many barriers standardized testing includes and the problems standardized testing causes for students, teachers, and schools.

        The first thing I think is wrong with standardized testing is how much extra stress it puts onto students. Students are already stressed out, but when you add standardized testing into the mix it makes students’ lives very hard.  From experience, every time I had a standardized test I stayed up all night trying to figure out what to study and worrying about my other homework that needs to be done.  This is something that makes going to school; by itself, very hard. I believe this may be the same for other students.  How are we supposed to expect students to do good on their testing when they haven’t had much sleep or studying?  The stress that standardized testing puts onto students makes it extremely hard for student to do well on these tests.

        Second, I believe that there are a lot of barriers to standardized testing. One example of this is the fact that most standardized testing is timed and this is a new thing for many students.  Putting students in an uncomfortable setting where they aren’t used to be timed may set some students up for failure from the start.  I think this because I don’t believe that students can accomplish what they are truly capable of unless they are confident and relaxed. The next example is the fact that in standardized testing students are given the test and then told to start.  In most cases students are not able to ask for help which may cause issues for some students.  How can students be expected to show what they are capable of when they don’t even understand what to do?  Another example of this is that most standardized testing is long and students are made to stay and do the test without many breaks.  From experience this is very straining, tiring and makes it hard to concentrate.  Having to sit at a desk for hours at a time without being able to stretch or do anything can be extremely hard for some students.  The last example of barriers that students face while standardized testing is not having the correct tools for the test.  Some testing requires things like calculators or graphing paper and not every school offers these thing to students.  This makes the tests unfair for the students who cannot afford these things.  Students cannot be expected to do their best while facing all of these barriers.

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