Published on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 by The Norseman Staff
In high school, students are forced to take various standardized tests that supposedly gauge intelligence and skill.
Throughout the year, students take so many practice tests from release TAKS, to benchmarks, to field tests, that the testing becomes self-defeating.
With the excessive preparations, students feel exhausted before the actual test date.
In addition to this exhaustion, many students and teachers feel that the overall success rate would increase if the repetitive year-long testing would stop.
While it is important to take time to practice for the exams, it isn’t necessary to take so much time out of the school year to shove information down students’ throats.
Teachers also don’t appreciate the amount of time spent on practice tests, because it takes away from classroom time and mastering the curriculum.
This time could be spent learning the information and concepts, rather than trying to cover as much as possible in the nine months of school. Since so much time is used on testing to see what a student knows, there is no time left to increase what a student knows.
Standardized tests are supposed to determine the success of students, however they do not represent their academic ability. The tests merely show if they can answer test questions, not if they truly understand the material.
Catering to the lowest common denominator, standardized tests do not accurately give students the ability to understand the breadth of their knowledge and skillset.
The pressure to pass tests stresses students out and it is difficult to cope with. Many will feel the need to drop out of school because they think they won’t even pass these standardized tests. The tests are discouraging students’ will to learn rather than boosting their confidence.
By scheduling less practice test days, and fewer days of class time dedicated to prepping for the test, we can concentrate more on the class we’re actually taking. Standardized testing is just a part of public school, but they shouldn’t take over our whole high school career.