Standardized Tests and Their Negative Aspects

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Introduction

Evaluating the results of the studying process within educational facilities is a critical task, which, nevertheless, is not efficiently addressed by them. The reason for challenges in this regard is the wide spread of testing instruments, which do not ensure the precision of results while being detrimental to the psychological wellbeing of young people. In addition, the orientation on these tools is disadvantageous for the organization of classes since educators are focused on their application rather than the development of actual skills. Therefore, required standardized tests are not the best method for assessing childhood learning because they cause major stress on students and impact teaching, while test scores do not provide an accurate picture of natural abilities.

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Stress and Anxiety

The first obstacle to conducting an effective evaluation based on the existing testing initiatives is an adverse response of students to their implementation. Thus, according to Ershova (2017), they lead to the emergence of extreme stress and anxiety in the affected persons, which eliminates the possibility of objective assessments. They are conducted under the threat of failing to achieve the necessary scores and, consequently, being placed in a less favorable environment with other students incapable of keeping up with the learning process (Ershova, 2017). As a result, children are focused on complying with the requirements rather than gaining the knowledge for their professional success in the future.

This approach determines the improper orientation of both educators and learners on test scores while neglecting the course materials. The latter might not be aware of what they are expected to know while thinking solely of the need for memorizing the correct answers (Hewson & Poulson, 2013). In this situation, their actual abilities and skills are not evaluated, and “the high-stakes atmosphere of standardized testing” explains worse outcomes for them (Hewson & Poulson, 2013). Moreover, these seeming achievements are reported to be temporary due to high levels of anxiety (Ershova, 2017). It means that it is not reasonable to rely on such instruments for demonstrating an actual picture of students’ progress.

Teaching Issues

The second problem with standardized assessment instruments used as the principal procedures allowing to show the dynamics of knowledge acquisition is the pressure they put on the personnel of educational facilities. As per recent research, educators have to work under extreme conditions in which preparing for the tests is more important than actually teaching students (Nixon, 2016). This aspect of the matter has a predominant impact on the policies of present-day schools, while the performance is viewed as compliance with regulations, which are not aligned with expectations in terms of abilities (Nixon, 2016).

In this case, there are no guarantees that children will be able to cope with different tasks in the workplace in the future. This fact is explained by the impossibility of managing real-life situations based on information learned from taking the tests (Ershova, 2017). Hence, if no changes are introduced to the current system of evaluating outcomes, teachers’ role in the studying process will be limited to conducting useless initiatives while having no opportunity to educate people.

Non-Compliance of Scores with Natural Abilities

The third issue deriving from the preference for standardized tests as the main tools for assessing student outcomes is their non-compliance with children’s natural abilities. Thus, as follows from the article written by Harris et al. (2012), the principal failure of this approach is linked to the inefficiency of measuring “creativity and critical thinking skills.” These critical attributes of one’s personality do not correlate with the typical questions included in testing materials. Subsequently, the sole focus on analytical thinking explains the tendency of prioritizing the related skills, which do not serve as evidence of people’s academic success (Harris et al., 2012).

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This conclusion is also supported by Walsh (2017), who claims that these instruments cannot be adapted for examining the mentioned areas. As a result, the abuse of the established procedures indicates the lack of information regarding students’ achievements.

In addition, the inclusion of standardized tests in the studying process means the promotion of discrimination in educational facilities. According to Ershova (2017), individuals with mental disabilities and non-English speakers are negatively affected by these practices in the first place. The neglect of their circumstances leads to the reception of inaccurate results, which do not speak of their intelligence (Ershova, 2017). It also puts some learners in a disadvantaged position in the long run since their achievements as per the test scores are lower than in the case of average students with no significant barriers (Hewson & Poulson, 2013). Thus, making judgments in this respect on the grounds of these assessments is unfair treatment of specific groups of children.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the use of standardized tests for evaluating young people’s abilities is not the best method due to several reasons. First, this practice causes stress and anxiety, which worsen the results and, consequently, lead to complications and low confidence in learners. Second, it implies the absence of opportunities for teachers to educate children while focusing on test scores. Third, this generalized approach does not reflect natural abilities other than analytical thinking and promotes discrimination. Therefore, the accuracy of evaluating one’s intelligence is not ensured by its implementation.

References

Ershova, S. (2017). Standardized tests are inaccurate. The Sandbox News. Web.

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Harris, P., Smith, B. M., & Harris, J. (2012). Standardized tests do not effectively measure student achievement. Humble Independent School District. Web.

Hewson, K., & Poulson, J. (2013). Standardized testing: Fair or not? The University of Lethbridge. Web.

Nixon, B. (2016). The pros and cons of standardized testing. Whitby. Web.

Walsh, B. (2017) When testing takes over. Harvard Graduate School of Education. Web.

Annotated Bibliography

Ershova, S. (2017). Standardized tests are inaccurate. The Sandbox News. Web.

This source first discusses that there are many factors on why standardized tests do not measure a student’s intelligence and performance skills. Topics such as how stress negatively impacts a student’s score, lack of language skills, and how standardized tests do not test every field of education. This source is reliable because it was found on a reliable website, St. Petersburg College. This source is helpful because it proves the argument that standardized tests are inaccurate.

Harris, P., Smith, B. M., & Harris, J. (2012). Standardized tests do not effectively measure student achievement. Humble Independent School District. Web.

This article provides plenty of reasoning on why standardized tests are not the same as student achievement. For example, on how these tests fail to measure important attributes such as creativity and critical thinking skills. This source is reliable and credible because the author is the executive director of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology with over 27 years of experience. This source is helpful because it proves that standardized testing does not measure a student’s true abilities.

Hewson, K., & Poulson, J. (2013). Standardized testing: Fair or not? University of Lethbridge. Web.

This article provides insights on standardized testing and how scores can be impacted due to environmental and personal factors. This article also portrays how standard tests do not accurately indicate how much a student has learned. This source is reliable because it was found on a reliable website, the University of Lethbridge. This source is helpful because it gives both positive and negative traits of standardized testing.

Nixon, B. (2016). The pros and cons of standardized testing. Whitby. Web.

This source first discusses that both public and private schools use standardized tests to measure a student’s abilities. It then goes on to describe how there are both pros and cons of using these types of tests for student placement. Topics such as the negative pressure students feel due to test anxiety, scores do not represent an accurate picture of a student’s ability, and how standardized tests help pinpoint areas of improvement. This source is very reliable as it is on the Whitby School website and the author is the Head of School at TASIS England. The source is helpful because it gives perspectives from both sides on the topic of standardized testing.

Walsh, B. (2017) When testing takes over. Harvard Graduate School of Education. Web.

This article provides several reasons why standardized testing has caused teaching time to be lost to test prep. Topics such as score inflation, pressure to do well on tests, and how sometimes teachers are held accountable for bad scores. This source is reliable because it was found on a reliable website, Harvard Graduate School of Education. The information in this source was helpful and educational.

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ChalkyPapers. (2022) 'Standardized Tests and Their Negative Aspects'. 9 September.

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ChalkyPapers. 2022. "Standardized Tests and Their Negative Aspects." September 9, 2022. https://chalkypapers.com/standardized-tests-and-their-negative-aspects/.

1. ChalkyPapers. "Standardized Tests and Their Negative Aspects." September 9, 2022. https://chalkypapers.com/standardized-tests-and-their-negative-aspects/.


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