Because life happens on the yard and in the classroom™
Because life happens on the yard and in the classroom™

Standardized Testing Pros and Cons

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There is an ongoing national debate about standardized tests.  Some people feel that the testing method does not correlate well with actual learning, and neither does it mirror the actual capability of a child (Buckley, Letukas & Wildavsky, 2017). A standardized test is a test that provides similar questions to all the test-takers in a similar manner and a consistent or “standard” manner, making it easy to compare students’ performance (Waters, 2021). All test makers don’t just take similar tests; they are also graded in the same manner to determine their academic skills.   

At Kids on the Yard, we acknowledge that standardized tests are complex and require to be addressed effectively.  We believe that standardized tests are beneficial to students when used to improve learning and teaching quality. We also acknowledge that it is linked to some disadvantages. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of standardized testing.

Standardized Testing the Advantages:

  1. They are Standard

As the name suggests, standardized tests are formulated with uniformity in administering, scoring, and interpreting the results. All the participants are provided the same tests in the same manner and environment, making it possible to compare the results as a performance standard. School leaders can use them to determine struggling students and decide if instructional changes are necessary (Waters, 2021).

2. They Are Unbiased

Standardized tests are unbiased since they are primarily computer-based, meaning that the computer handles all the grading, and there is no external influence on the exam.  Teachers in other tests can alter the results when marking, but students get scores based on what they wrote with standardized tests. No other considerations are made during scoring.

3. They are Metrics for Learning

 When students are assessed through standardized testing, teachers and the school management get a valuable metric to check their curriculum quality.  Standardized tests also come from a neutral source, providing teachers with credible data to compare their schools with other schools in the US and across the globe.

4. They Help to Pinpoint Areas that Needs Improvement

Schools use standardized tests to evaluate the effectiveness of their education program. Not only are standardized testing statistics used to test students’ performance, but they also allow schools to reflect on their curriculum.  Schools and parents can also compare students to their peers in different institutions to determine if the educational continuum is good and where it would need more time and resources investment.

5. Facilitates Inclusivity

One of the most significant advantages of standardized tests is that it provides a level field for all students in public schools, regardless of their background and status. It offers students from under-performing schools an opportunity to prove their academic abilities despite their struggles and circumstances.

6. They are Perfect Tools of Assessment

Standardized testing provides an excellent way to determine if your child is ready to go to school based on their intellectual levels.  One can tell if the child is prepared to join the next grade level by answering the set questions in a given grade level.  Standardized tests are also essential assessment tools since they highlight students with learning problems and help determine if they need to enter special education.  

Standardized Testing the Disadvantages:

  1. Results can be Misleading

Scores in standardized tests can be misleading to educators when it comes to the evaluation of students. The intellect of students cannot entirely be determined by how they answer standardized questions.  The results about students can be inaccurate in multi-choice exams since students can easily guess answers.

2. They Can Impact Confidence

Standardized tests can highly influence a student’s confidence, primarily when used as the sole determinant of the student’s ability. A student may go through a stressful event when they feel that they performed below their expectations. That is why at Kids on the Yard, we apply the “Whole Child” approach to teach and examine your child’s ability. It is wrong for parents or teachers to gauge the intellect and performance of students based on standardized test scores alone.

3. They Don’t Give a True Picture of a Child’s Ability.

Standardized testing results can be wrong about a child’s ability.  This is because the performance could be influenced by different factors such as test anxiety, sickness, and challenging testing methods.  Sometimes a low grade does not mean a lower understanding of the subject, and neither do high scores tell better understanding.  A high score could only mean that a child is good at taking a multi-choice test or have excellent memorization skills!

FINAL TAKE:

Schools should not use standardized tests as a sole judgment for students’ natural abilities. Instead, they should use them as a data point that offers the learning perspective of students.

Read more:

References

Buckley, J., Letukas, L. & Wildavsky, B. (2017). Measuring Success: Testing, Grades, and the Future of College Admissions, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press

Waters, L. (2021). EXPLAINED: What Are Standardized Tests and Why Do We Need Them?. Retrieved from https://educationpost.org/what-are-standardized-tests-and-why-do-we-need-them/

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