One Test For All?

Farrah Morris

Many students understand the dread and frustration that comes with standardized testing.

    Sometimes not knowing exactly what to study for, how broad the material on the subject may be, and the time it takes out of the day or period to take a test that is very general is a frustrating concept.

    While districts and schools assure that this standardized testing is necessary to evaluate the education level of students, the focus on this testing is not only unnecessary but has altered the style of education in an unhealthy way for students and teachers.

    It is no surprise or shock when asking students how they feel about standardized testing: A majority find it a bother at best and extremely anxiety-inducing at worst.

    To gain a better insight a few students were asked exactly what they disliked about it.

    Kendall Stout, a freshman, stated, “Standardized tests may not even prove the potential ability of  a student, but only how similar they think to the authors of the test.”

    It can also be noted that oftentimes the key to succeeding in standardized tests is memorizing certain points in the test that is emphasized in prep books, or in prep classes. Sometimes memorizing is prioritized, rather than actually teaching and allowing the student to think for themself. Teachers have learned to ‘teach to the test.’

    There are also complaints about the time taken away to prepare for these tests. As Nicole Burns, a sophomore, explained, “Schools claim education is the most important thing, the first priority, but they take away weeks and weeks of learning for the sake of these standardized tests that don’t even do anything for students in the first place.”

    Teaching has also been shifted away in favor of preparing students for upcoming tests rather than teaching material that is integral towards ensuring students will be prepared to handle the workload of their careers and the world as a whole.

    Some students, such as Eej Thomas, a junior, have also claimed, “Standardized testing causes a hectic schedule for students at a time when they’re already stressed out since it’s the end of the year.”

    A lot of complaints have also included this. Since it is nearing the end of the year, and the ever dreaded finals, students are scrambling to get final projects together, turn in last missing assignments, and some students are stressing over studying for their AP tests.

    This is also problematic for juniors, who arguably have the biggest workload and are the most stressed. This is an incredibly important year for them since it is one that will be judged closely when college applications are sent in.       

    Tests such as CAASPP, Math and English, force block schedules and students are forced to try to do well on these tests while also making sure their work is done in their other classes as well.

    Other students have also seen the tests are useless because they do not affect one’s overall grade. Students are inclined to care less because if it does not contribute to their grade in school, why should it matter?

    Other Juniors like Miranda Gonzalez had spoken briefly on this topic, angered and frustrated when she mentioned that it is not only a waste of time but that it does not affect her grade so she doesn’t care about doing well.

    As a whole students are generally frustrated with the stress of standardized testing, the uselessness of it to their high school career, and its nonexistent contribution to their development towards being a functional member of society.

    While, yes, understanding how certain maths are used in everyday life and how basic biology works is important, the chances of an “everyday man” finding it essential to know imaginary i and knowing how old English translates to modern English is very slim.

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