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Effectiveness of Standardized Tests.

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Maaskant 1

Jennifer Maaskant
Ms. Rickard

9th lit/comp AB
2/7/18

Effectiveness of Standardized Tests

        The efficacy of standardized tests is limited by students cramming and forgetting information, the time-restraint on the tests, and the inaccurate representation of how students perform in college. Standardized tests have started becoming more optional but still play a big role in a student’s academic career. Teens are pressured to do well on standardized tests, so they can get into a good college. According to PBS news hour, “There are about 850 test-optional colleges in the U.S., and the trend is growing slowly.” Putting the pressure of standardized tests on students causes them to cram, cheat, not learn, and not prepare for college.

        Cramming is when a person prepares for an exam or test by overloading the brain with a large amount of information right before hand. To do better students often either cram or retest until they do well, but by doing this they just give an inaccurate reading to colleges. Cramming for tests means they will forget the material soon after which will no longer help the student in college. “there is even the possibility that students could study too much and reach a point of diminishing returns where they’re not gaining anything from over-preparing.” States Penn states article on the effectiveness of testing.

        During high stake standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT, students are given a restricting time limit which causes students to have to skip or miss questions due to rushing.

Maaskant 2

Many brilliant teens have scored lower on standardized tests and have been affected due to this time restraint issue. Test such as the SAT only give 3 hours and 45 minutes to answer 145

questions, certain sections have more questions than minutes which makes it so students have less than a minute per question. Some students work slower than others and cannot make it in this time and are then forced to miss questions.

        A good majority of standardized tests are used to show college readiness, but they are not quite accurate readings. “Most studies find that the correlation between SAT scores and first-year college grades is not overwhelming” (ABC, Do SAT Scores Really Predict Success?). Most colleges have found that grades of people who do better on the SAT and people who don’t do as well have been moderately similar. Many colleges have started noticing this and leaning away from standardized tests.

        Overall, standardized tests are not an accurate reading for college readiness and there are many factors that play into how well a student does on one such as the teens mental state, cramming, time restraints, and test reliability. According to fairtest’s article on standardized test Colleges have been finding new ways to check college readiness such as “good teacher observation, documentation of student work, and performance-based assessment, all of which involve the direct evaluation of real learning tasks, provide useful material for teachers, parents, and the public.” In the future colleges are most likely going to continue finding new ways to prepare students and check for the college readiness without giving them the stress and inaccuracy of standardized tests.

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