Paper Example on Standardized Testing

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  855 Words
Date:  2022-03-14


Standardized testing has been in existence for a long time. Testing plays a significant role in education across the globe. Standardized testing acts as a yardstick to evaluate performance against a given set of standards. Tests are at different levels. Some are designed to measure knowledge in a specific subject while some are designed to assess scholastic readiness. For example, aptitude tests are administered to measure how well one can critically think. However, standardized testing is a controversial issue today. There are both proponents and those who oppose the test as a poor measure of education. Both sides are vocal in their argument as they maintain their stand. The bottom line of standardized testing is that a high score aids one to get to the next level while a low score is an indicator that one should not be promoted to the next stage.

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To begin with, standardized testing has a historical background. It is not something new as it has been in existence for a long period. Often, it has been used to evaluate education at different levels like colleges and universities. Moreover, it has been used in the employment level to assess the aptitude and intelligence of candidates. For example, imperial China used standardized testing to evaluate an individual's suitability to hold positions in the ruling government. Since then another standardized testing has been employed. During the First World War, the military made use of mental tests to find out the best positions for the new newly recruited persons (Rostker 385). Also, IBM came up with a system that automatically develops test scores which are widely used by recruiting firms. Hence, standardized testing has been used over a long period and in different fields.

Standardized testing in education is critical. The tests measure the student's achievement which ensures that teachers and schools are held accountable. Many students use standardized testing to set themselves apart to higher levels. SAT gives students an opportunity to showcase that despite the poor high school performance, they are bright (Wray 56). Additionally, students who performed well in their high school, end up in competitive schools. As a result, it gives them an opportunity to compete with a pool of equally intelligent and talented students. Thus, it helps to bring up a fair competition that enhances education.

Furthermore, standardized testing is an essential component of a teacher's evaluation. Teachers adopted a policy that required them to involve the use of objective measures of student achievement. The primary duty of a teacher is to teach while the learners learn. On the other hand, a standardized test is used to monitor the progress of the process (Strauss). It means that the standard tests are used as a tool to evaluate the student's performance about the teacher's effort. The test can measure the amount of information delivered, information not taught or the information taught but has been forgotten. Therefore, standardized testing helps to know the areas that the students do not know which gives an indicator on the areas that the teacher should revisit.

On the contrary, standardized testing has been rejected for its inability to show students' capability. It leaves out many aspects which are essential. For example, it fails to show the progress the students have made over the course of their studies. Students may have significantly improved over the years, but perform poorly in the standardized tests. The reason for this is that the tests fail to account for the external factors. For example, an intelligent student may be under anxiety while taking a test. Such students end up failing. In this case, the student will have been unable to graduate to the next level which is not an accurate reflection of their capability (Senechal 298). Also, it puts students under the pressure for excellent performance. Following this, it decreases students' confidence which may make them dislike schools. Despite the critique on standardized testing, it remains an invaluable aspect of education.


In Summary, standardized testing is significant in education which makes it be taken so seriously. The course being taken is essential. However, the progress of the course has to have a measure for evaluation. The existence of different teaching methods and the diversity of students, calls for a single yardstick to measure their performance. Hence, Standardized testing plays this role in evaluating a course and comparing the performance of students. Under standardized testing, teachers are able to assess whether the students have understood the curriculum. In addition, it shows the gaps that exist in the course. Following this, the necessary improvements are made. Moreover, students who perform well in the standard test get the opportunity to move to the next level. Therefore, the standardized test helps to evaluate the progress of a course which is why they are taken more seriously than the course itself.

Works Cited

Rostker, Bernard. I Want You! The Evolution of the All-Volunteer Force. Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2006.

Senechal, Diana. The College Buzz Book. New York: Vault, 2006.

Strauss, Valerie. "What Do Standardized Tests Actually Test?" The Washington Post, WP Company, 1 Aug. 2014.

Wray, Harry. Japanese and American Education: Attitudes and Practices. Westport, Conn: Bergin & Garvey, 1999.

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Paper Example on Standardized Testing. (2022, Mar 14). Retrieved from

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