Advantages and Disadvantages of Standardized Testing

The educational system in the contemporary generation is now relying on heavily standardized testing. The implementation of “No Child Left Behind” act crated regulations and higher standards for all teachers nowadays. Through its approval, there will be better involvement of the government. Standardized tests provide various benefits and drawbacks to the educational reform.

What is Standardized Test?

A standardized test is a state mandated test that all students must take. The scores are used to assess the level that students are at in their areas. These tests are all the same, with questions pulled from the same bank, and scored at an offsite official location. These scores weigh heavily on districts, teachers, and students alike.

This is also known as well debated and very controversial topic. For many reasons, its practice will not go away soon. Through Common Core State Standards’ impeding transition as well as the usage of associated assessments, the standardized testing practice will be continually debated and discussed.

The Advantages

There are various pros that can be received from standardized testing. These are the following:

1. Standardized Testing can hold schools and teachers accountable. These schools and teachers become responsible for teaching the required knowledge for standardized tests.
2. It is usually associated with instructional framework or established standards providing the teachers with assistance for when and what should be taught.
3. Standardized tests have been naturally objective. These tests are usually scored by the computers or by persons who are not known by the students.
4. It allows the students in districts, schools and states to get into comparison. The absence of standardized testing means that there will be no comparison to take place.
5. These tests have been giving accurate and reliable comparisons in between sub-groups. Such sub-groups involve data on socio-economic status, ethnicity, special needs, and more.
6. A standardized test is very practical. It is less time consuming and easier to administer.
7. With standardized testing, the students are challenged to meet a common standard by acquiring skills and content that goes beyond the minimum requirements.

The Disadvantages

In spite of various benefits provided, standardized tests also offer some drawbacks. These include:

1. Standardized testing makes various teachers to “teach to the tests” only. Such practice hinders the overall learning potential of the student.
2. Standardized tests can evaluate the student’s individual performance than his overall growth throughout the year. Many argue that the student and teacher performance must get evaluated on growth throughout the year than a single test performance alone.
3. These tests may get wrongfully utilized as the fuel for people having political agendas. It has been a sad truth that is usually present in all political realm levels.
4. It makes great stress on both the students and the educators. The best teachers are quitting their profession daily due to the stress of preparing their students to work on standardized testing.
5. It generally affects the way teachers teach the students. It typically affects the value of learning in the classroom.

In addition, the culture, language difference, socio-economic classes, and gender may be an obstacle for the students to become successful on their tests.