Standardized Testing isn’t Testing What Matters

Camila Sposito, Staff Writer

Standardized tests have been used for several years in schools as a requirement to graduate high school, or to get into college. Specific tests such as the SAT, are extremely difficult, and often ask questions that seem to be formed to confuse students, all in a limited amount of time. These tests are set up to fail students, and are an ineffective form of measuring intelligence and effort, which are the expectations for most colleges. Standardized testing is also unhealthy for many students. 

In these assessments, there is a limited amount of time that students have, in order to complete the full test. Although four hours may seem like an efficient amount of time, students are expected to read multiple stories, solve various math problems, and even write essays. Thousands of students have test anxiety, worsening their performance, and causing them to receive lower scores. A study showed that 80% of students in New York opted out of taking standardized tests due to anxiety and stress levels. This is just one state that had most students give up on the test, which means that there must have been multiple other states with a variety of students not taking the test either

 An anonymous high school student had said that, ‘During the test, I almost got up and walked out of that classroom. I couldn’t focus, and I could hear my heart beating in my ears. Even when I had finished testing, I threw up because I still felt the nerves in me.’ This shows just how testing can make people feel unfocused and only set their minds to the time they have, or to the nervousness they feel, and how it is a poor measure of intelligence.

 Standardized testing can cause issues with students’ health, or even create problems in students who never seemed to face.  BAA student, Jacob Downey mentioned, “They set us up to fail. The wording is impossible to understand, and has to be read multiple times, but we only have one minute for each question”, showing just how unfair the testing can be. With all of this, comes the unjust categorizing based off of scores.

A few months after the test has been taken, scores come out with all of the statistics and rankings. Those scores are used to apply to colleges, which means that thousands of students around the world are competing with each other to get the spot they want. Many bigger and well known colleges, however, only take students with an above average score, because they seem more intelligent and fitting for the requirements they need.

 Along with the benchmarks that you receive with your scores, there is a caption that says whether you are applicable for college or not, and it is all based off of whether you passed the average scoring benchmarks. These tests degrade students and make them feel worthless and less than others. It doesn’t show the effort and dedication that students put into the test at all, and definitely does not define the measure of their intelligence. 

An ACC student had said, ‘I took prep classes, and I studied at home for the SAT, but it feels like I just wasted my time, because my score was worse than before’. Many students work hard before the big testing day; studying, taking prep classes, taking time out of their days to make sure they understand the untaught material that is on the test, yet many are still disappointed with their results, claiming, ‘Nothing in the practice tests were that difficult’, or even ‘None of my teachers taught me any of those things;, which comes to show that the test is unfair to those who dedicate their time and don’t learn the materials on the test with actual teachers, instead, learning it all by themselves.

Therefore, standardized tests are an imprecise way of rating people’s intelligence, and it should not be used as a requirement for colleges, because it shows no evidence of work and dedication.