Are Standardized Tests an Accurate Measure of a Student’s Abilities

Are Standardized Tests an Accurate Measure of a Student's Abilities

Standardized testing has been used in the United States for nearly 100 years to assess high school students’ readiness for college, and provide scholarships and opportunities for higher scorers. Though this system has been entrusted for countless years, many question if standardized tests are truly an accurate measure of a students abilities. 

There are many factors that could contribute to a students subpar performance on standardized tests, things such as test anxiety or external factors distracting the student. Standardized tests create a limited scope of learning and success and the emphasis and importance placed upon these tests stunt a students ability to succeed. 

Senior at Farragut High School, Hannah Shipstad believes that standardized tests do more harm to a student than good. She believes that every student should have the option to not submit their test scores and that they should not be penalized for the things inhibiting them from testing well.  

“In my normal classes I make good grades, mostly A’s and occasionally a B. However, I am a horrible test taker, and my ACT score is not an accurate representation of my intelligence. I get horrible test anxiety, and coupled with my ADHD, standardized tests are a nightmare for me,” said Shipstad.

I also spoke with Ashleigh Nicholson and asked her how she felt about standardized testing 

“I am a firm believer that standardized tests do not exhibit a student’s full potential on what a student can achieve academically. There is so much more to a student than their standardized test scores,” said Nicholson. 

Amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic many universities have decided to make their application process test optional, providing certain students with a little relief, and allows colleges look past the students’ test scores and look at them more holistically. A chairman of the National Association for College Admission Counseling recognizes the difficulty of standardized testing especially during these times.

“This is a year to reexamine any mandatory use of testing as part of enrollment operations, for both practical but also ethical reasons,” said the chairman.

Though there are some pros to standardized testing, the negative impacts of testing definitely outweigh the positive, and I think that it is definitely time to reevaluate the importance placed on standardized tests. 

What Happens When Students Boycott a Standardized Test? - The Atlantic