Although many are concerned in regards to the effectiveness of standardized testing, I must advocate the advantages of such tests and how standardized testing is one of the most effective ways when it comes to testing one’s understanding of a certain material. Henceforth, the purpose of this essay is to demonstrate how standardized tests are beneficial for school students when considering that it provides a more clear and objective view of a student’s academic performance, as it strengthens one’s ability to remain calm under stressful circumstances, and since it enables parents to gain valuable information on their children’s learning.
While many have suggested the use of teacher grading as opposed to standardized tests, the truth remains that teacher assessment is rather subjective, and not objective. Teachers, as all human beings, are not able to solely rely on achievement factors, and naturally, non-achievement factors such as classroom behaviour, participation, and attendance heavily impact one’s marks. For instance, one teacher assessing the same grade might be extraordinarily lenient, while another might be brutally hard; in both of these situations, getting an “A” signifies a much different meaning. Furthermore, inequality based on an individual’s race, ethnicity, religion, or gender unfortunately still remains relevant in schools across the world and thus, this is an additional reason why standardized testing provides a more clear and objective view of a student's academic mastery.
Secondly, another famous argument concerning this topic is in regards to how stress and anxiety correlate with standardized testing. However, despite having to be found to cause stress, I must argue that being under a reasonable amount of stress every now and then, to all intent and purposes, is healthy. Although it is not much sought about, when a student is under stress, as long as it is not dangerously harmful to one’s mental health, the stress in a safe learning environment strengthens one’s ability to remain calm under stressful circumstances and promotes self-directed learning in dealing with stress and anxiety. Moreover, studies have found that a reasonable amount of pressure and expectations positively motivates students into studying harder, while still maintaining healthy mental well-being.
Likewise, another pertinent point is concerning the objectivity of standardized tests as the very objectivity of standardized testing is regarding the comparability of student achievement, which is a desirable feature for both parents and practitioners. To give you an illustration, most parents, for instance, would like to know how their offspring(s) compare to statewide/nationwide peers and whether he or she is falling behind or not, compared to international, nationwide, and statewide educational standards. Additionally, school-shopping parents, as some may say, have every right to inspect and compare the standardized test results from a variety of different schools such as charter schools, STEM schools, district schools, etc. Therefore, it is only evident that standardized testing enables parents to gain valuable information on their children’s learning, whether he or she requires extra academic support from his/her parents, and for school-shopping parents to gain access to important information on the academic achievement of their school of choice.
In conclusion, without standardized testing, parents would not be able to know how their children compare to their peers on a nationwide standardized level, nor would they be able to know how their school of choice compares to other academic institutions on national and statewide levels. Furthermore, standardized testing allows parents to be provided with a more clear and objective view of a student's academic mastery. Thereupon, I would venture to say that standardized tests are beneficial for school students for the above reasons I have mentioned.