Standardized Testing Pros and Cons List

A standardized test is a form of test that requires the test takers to answer the same questions, or select the questions from a common bank of questions. This test is usually scored in a standard or a consistent manner, and this makes it possible to compare the performance of individual students or a groups of students. These standardized tests are in a multiple-choice format, they can also include true-false questions, essay questions, short-answer questions or a mixture of question types.

Pros of Standardized Testing

1. Objective
They are a fair and objective method that is used to assess the academic achievement of students.

2. Removes Bias
They remove the potential for favoritism, subjective evaluation and bias because they are coupled with scoring that is computerized scoring.

3. Offers Variety of Uses
The tests can be used for a large variety of educational purposes like determining the readiness of a young child for kindergarten, in the identification of students who require special-education services or academic support that is specialized.

4. Provides Instructional Guidance
The standardized testing helps give teachers guidance on what to teach the students and when to teach it. This results in less instructional time wastage.

5. Parents Can Evaluate Progress
Parents are given a good idea of how their children are compared to other students across the country. This is also a good indicator of how the local area compares against the rest.

6. Measure Academic Growth
The tests allow the students’ progress to be seen over the years. If a student takes a similar type of test yearly, it will be easy to see if the student is improving.

7. Accurate Comparisons
Standardized tests provide an accurate comparison across different groups.

8. Provides Useful Information to Government
The tests also give the governments information regarding the education system so that it is possible to improve areas that are lacking.

Standardized Testing

1. Subjective to Questions
Human judgment that is subjective can be used in the testing process like the presentation and selection of questions, the subject matter and the phrasing of questions and answers.

2. Standards Established by Few
Test developers also set the passing scores and this is a decision that can affect the number of students who pass or fail.

3. Limits Teacher Abilities
Some teachers teach the test due to the pressure they feel to make their students achieve a specific score. This will make the school seem like a drudgery for students and can also steal the teachers’ enjoyment during teaching.

4. Increased Administration Pressure on Schools
Schools are under a lot of pressure to raise their test scores and will therefore resort to reducing or doing away with the time students spend on recess. This will impact negatively on the children’s emotional, social and academic well-being.

5. Negatively Impact Direction of Learning
These tests put a very large amount of stress on teachers. They are evaluated based on their students scores. This causes the teacher to in turn place a large amount of stress on the students to perform well.

6. Students That Perform Badly Become Disadvantaged
Students who perform poorly in tests in general, or those who do not have the background information necessary to complete questions are disadvantaged.

7. Limited Scope of Success
The tests are a limited scope of success and learning because they only measure areas like writing, reading, as well as math, instead of a full picture of children and the way they learn.