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The Reasons Why Standardized Testing Should Be Abolished

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Standardized testing is a form of test that involves all test takers to answer the same question and scores them in a consistent manner wherein it is possible for those who gave the tests to compare and evaluate the performance of each students. Multiple-choice questions, true-false questions, short-answer questions, essay questions, and the like are some samples of standardized tests. Schools implement standardized testing because of some major reasons such as: (1) it is objective and not biased; (2) and according to them, it accurately assesses the student’s academic skills; (3) it provides benchmarks for both parents and teachers; (4) it helps to know what key points are needed to be emphasized; (5) and it also provides guidelines for the school’s curriculum. However, for students, it creates stress for them. They begin to frantically search for the best way to study for a test and devote a lot of time to cramming. According to studies, teachers end up preparing their students for a specific standardized test rather than making them understand and gain knowledge on the subject being taught. Standardized testing only considers the student’s test performance up until the evaluation and not how the student has grown over the school year. In other words, it makes fewer chances to improve students’ learning ability.

Standardized tests create only a limited scope of learning and growth for the students because of its never-ending cycle of how an individual student is evaluated. Tests like this only measure specific areas such as reading, writing, and math. Standardized tests only focus on the cognitive dimensions and do not give importance to other skills such as creativity, motivation, and cooperation. According to National Council of Teachers of English, students who perform well in school who are under standardized testing have much worse life outcomes than others because they lack curiosity, perseverance, sociability, and the like. Another statement from the NTCE was that partaking in such tests can lower the self-esteem of the students for example, when a student who is gifted in literacy may not understand or appreciate their own capacities and become disengaged from school because their ability do not cut the narrow band of skills measured by standardized tests. There are many ways for teachers to evaluate their students because each individual has a unique way of learning. There are those are good in both writing and speaking, they are what people call verbal learners. Spatial learners are people who needs visual aids in order to learn. Auditory-musical people are those learners who mostly rely on sounds and music. These people are good learnt by hearing and listening. Kinesthetics Learners are individuals who respond to words that incite feeling and physical activity. Logical learners are the type two take down notes and are organized. These people prefer to use logic and reasoning while learning. Social learners are the type of people prefers to learn in groups while solitary learners tend to be aloof and prefer to be alone and self-study. One cannot just rely on a standardized test where they give out the same kind of test to every student. However, to some, standardized test is an examination that is given under well-defined conditions in which the result is not dependent on the grader thus, being objective and just. It is a means to determine and measure learning given by the Department of Education and a way for schools to correlate with each other.

Standardized testing not only limits the students but it also creates stress for them. Students were surveyed by American Psychological Association in 2014 and the result showed that many teens are experiencing symptoms of stress in their daily lives and that school is contributing to student stress. According to Abeles (2015), “today’s students are the most tested generation on history.” He also stated that excessive focus on testing has negative consequences, including placing unhealthy stress on students. Health consequences associated with standardized testing were cited as including stomachaches and vomiting, headaches, sleep problems, depression, attendance problems, and acting out, and particularly, mental health issues. There are students who are exceptionally good and understands what the topic is but are bad at test taking. On 2015, Dutro and Selland stated that classifying students as either proficient or less than proficient have the ability to inform and affect how children construct their identities as learners. They also noted that the students who gained high scores or those who are proficient are students who expressed positive feelings about the test-taking experience; none of the students scoring less than proficient, in contrast, held such positive view. Students who are “less proficient” are eventually discouraged and label themselves as failures, thus no longer exerting effort.

Standardized testing should be abolished. There are many modern and new ways to evaluate the students such as real-world work and projects. Real-world works are activities that require the students to get out of the room and go to an area where they can explore and learn about the place. This does not only covers internships but other school works such as, for example, a site that is significant to what is being taught by the teacher can be visited and explored by students and they will share their thoughts about it the next time. With this, students will know learn both by books and by reality. While schools only give credits to students who do good in school during school hours, there are also students who do good outside the school without being properly credited. Some of these acts are even greater than what is being done in schools. For instance, when a student participates in socioeconomic activities, they’ll earn a social studies credit, given that he/she provides evidence or when a student participated in a marathon, he/she will get a physical education credit. In these cases, students learn from the real world and gain both experience and knowledge. Another way is a personal success plans where it is customized to the student and not the standardized system. This assessment caters the interests of the student where the teacher works with them to discover and hone their talents. This type of assessment is basically when a teacher works with students to help them identify their goals and develop a real plan to achieve them and support them as necessary.


  1. Grade Power Learning. (2017, June 22). PROS & CONS OF STANDARDIZED TESTS. Retrieved from Grade Power Learning:
  2. National Council of Teachers of English. (2014). How Standardized Tests Shape—and Limit—Student Learning. Retrieved from National Council of Teachers of English:
  3. Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency. (2019). What’s Your Learning Style? The Learning Styles. Retrieved from Education Planner:
  4. Simpson, C. (2016, May). Effects of Standardized Testing. Retrieved from Harvard:


Why standardized tests shouldn’t be a way to measure knowledge?

Standardized testing compares the school as a whole rather than how each student does on that test. Some kids might not be great test takers but they might be great at the assignments and know the knowledge. Standardized tests are not an accurate way of measuring academic performance. Teachers now have to teach to the test instead of being creative with their assessments. These tests are also a very poor way of evaluating the teacher. It ignores everything that the teacher has done throughout the whole year. Standardized tests are only a way to see if the student can exam well, not if they know the knowledge like a performance assessment would. Standardized tests are an unfair measurement of students’ knowledge, while making teaching uncreative.

There is such a high stake on this standardized test that is mainly used for funding. The higher the test scores throughout the whole school, the more funding the school gets. This test is more so for accountability. Accountability means to be held accountable. Which means that an organization may be expected to render to accountability of their actions. The author Dylan William from the article Standardized Testing and School Accountability writes, “literal meaning of the term — that of being “held to account” — suggests there is an expectation that when a person, organization, or entity is accountable, they can be expected or required to render an account of their actions”(William 2010). School accountability depends all on standardized testing. The article Teachers’ Beliefs About the Purpose of Education in a High-Stakes Testing Environment, the author Kristina M. Veselak states, “Schools, districts, and states have a lot at stake, including rankings and funding, as a result of test scores”(Veselak 2018). The higher the test scores, the more money that school receives. It does not matter as much how well the student does in terms of if their learning, it’s more about if they test well so the school or district gets a better ranking and more funding. The most important part of this test is not to see if the student has mastered the subjects and has learned everything, but is a way for the school to look better in terms of ranking and to get more money.

The school district is accountable to make sure that the students get a high score on the standardized test, and in return they will get rewards. It’s sad, the school does their job in terms of teaching kids and then they test them with a big test and if they do well enough, the school itself gets a reward. The article The Growth of High-Stakes Testing in the USA: Accountability, Markets and the Decline in Educational Equality, the author David Hursh states, “Moreover, the test scores are used to hold schools and school districts accountable for students’ learning, with schools rated for their performance. Schools that receive high ratings are eligible for cash awards and those that receive low ratings face sanctions, including possible closure. Schools receive cash rewards when the students score high on their test, and when they score low, they can potentially close down. Makes one wonder what’s the real reason for this test.

Teachers have to change their whole curriculum because of this test. Teachers now have to make their curriculum to teach the students how to test. Teachers try their hardest to do many hands on activities for their students to learn. Due to this test and how teachers have to teach, many teachers want to leave the field of education. On the article, Standardized Testing and Its Victims, Alfie Kohn states, “Many educators are leaving the field because of what is being done to schools in the name of ‘accountability’ and ‘tougher standards’”. This test had such high standards for students in order for them to pass that the teachers wanted to quit because they thought they had too much pressure in making sure that their students pass.

Teachers get worried that they cannot produce the higher test scores through their students. Kohn states, “Prospective teachers are rethinking whether they want to begin a career in which high tests scores matter the most, and in which they will be pressured to produce these scores”(Kohn 2000). With being a teach, one gets assessed on how well they are doing by the test scores from their students. If the students get high test scores, it shows that they are doing their job as a teacher. That is too much pressure on a teacher to make sure all of their students get high test scores.

There was a teacher who described her classroom before and after she started doing the tasks for the test. Her class is a kindergarten class where the district wants to administer a standardized test to improve reading and math levels. The teacher, Darla, does everything she can to make sure that everything she teaches has meaning and is hands on activities. With doing so, the students feel good about themselves and about their learning. On an article, Standardized Testing in Kindergarten, the author Stepanie Feeney and Nancy K. Freeman writes, “Darla prides herself on providing many opportunities for the children she teaches to have meaningful, hands-on learning experiences and to feel good about themselves as learners”(Feeney, Freeman 2013). With providing those hands on activities, her students felt good about themselves and their learning, that changes as soon as she applies the test.

The assignments that they create and teach for the test are uncreative which actually disengage the students. These kids get very bored and do not like doing the assignments because of how uncreative they are. When taking the test, the kids were restless. The authors states, “When she administered this test for the first time last year children started the task with enthusiasm, but as they worked on the test they became restless and showed signs of discomfort”(Feeney, Freeman 2013). Kids don’t do as well in a testing environment, they do better when they have room to express themselves while also, showing they know the subject. The author Kristina M. Veselak, from the article Teachers’ Beliefs About the Purpose of Education in a High-Stakes Testing Environment, states, “However, in schools which focus so heavily on test preparation, students report an almost complete loss of interest in schooling, higher levels of anxiety, and lower levels of confidence…”(Veselak 2018). This test disengages all students. All students lose all interest in wanting to do school work. Levels of anxiety in the students rises due to the idea of failing this test that has such high stakes.

Performance assessments throughout the whole school year is a much better way to measure learning growth. A lot of people do really bad on an exam while doing amazing on the assessments. Semester grades are more important than the result one would get on the standardized test because it shows more of what the student has learned then that test could ever show. Tracking a students performance throughout their assignments, will show a better representation of how much the student knows. On an article called Standardized Testing, Learning, and Meritocracy: A Reply to Professor Dan Subotnik, the author, Harvey Gilmore states, “…I strongly believe that an overall track record of semester grades gives a better indication of a student’s competence”(Gilmore 2016). Students do much better throughout the year. Standardized tests are a poor way of measuring performance, especially when the students have been proving mastery of the subject all semester. The article, The Future Is performance Assessment by Dan French, states, “Multiple researchers have found that well-constructed performance assessments are better able to measure higher-order thinking skills while accommodating a wider variety of learning styles than standardized tests” (French 2017). Performance assessments show more of what a student can do than what the test shows.

On the flip side, the biggest thing that is good about standardized tests, is that it shows whether or not a child is behind. The article, The Good in Standardized Testing by Lelac Almagor. The author states, “A quiet, diligent, well behaved girl who turned in all her assignments — of course her grades were great. But she couldn’t read grade level texts”(Almagor 2014). According to the results of the test that girl who turned in all her class work and did really well on them, did not do so well on the test and cannot read grade level. The test shows parents who think that their child is doing great in school, might actually need a little extra help. The main points of this test is that it tests comprehension and vocabulary, so if a child does not score high, it is because they cannot understand the comprehension and vocabulary from their grade level.

To turn that around, yes, the test may show that the student can not read grade level texts, but that may be because that student does not exam well. Just because one does not do well on a test that does not mean that they are behind in their reading and math. A lot of kids end up choking up on the exam and do not do as well, which means one cannot just use the test as a way to measure the students ability. That is an unfair way to assess how a student is doing in terms of their learning. The article The Future Is performance Assessment by Dan French, states, “Transitioning to performance assessments as a measure of student learning has equity at its center, with the goal of enabling a greater diversity of students to demonstrate proficiency in what they know and are able to do”(French 2017). Performance assessments show what a student knows and what they are able to do. This big test that does nothing but create a stressful environment for students to dread.

With all of this information, standardized tests are simply unneeded to measure students’ knowledge. There is enough evidence that shows that performance assessments express a lot more learning and measures what a student can do then these tests can show. This test is invalid in terms of the reason that they are enforced and the way they enforce it. This test makes students lose interest in schooling and have higher levels of anxiety. Teachers hate standardized tests almost as much as students do, which is resulting in them leaving the field. Schooling has become less creative and more test preparation. Standardized tests are not a way to measure students’ knowledge but a way to see if they can exam well. With all this information, it shows how much standardized tests create an uncreative school environment while not testing knowledge.

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