Skip to content

Taking the standardization out of standardized tests

I can’t really tell you how little appreciation I have for the standardized test. They’re one of the worst things ever invented. The real reason why standardized tests are bad, is because, well, they’re standardized. They do not actually test your acumen in the given subject, simply how well you have retained the specific knowledge the test is on. And realistically, anyone can ace a standardized test.

Now, there are some cases where this is good. History for example: this is all memorization. There, to my knowledge, is nothing in learning history, other than memorization. Perhaps later on, if you decide to make the study of history your profession, you may need some other skills, however, there’s no case where this might apply to anything that someone may need to be tested in a standardized way.

I digress. Really, what standardized tests do, is two things. The first, is punish everyone. But all tests do this, so that isn’t too fair. The second thing, is make it so that people can get past the screening process that these tests are supposed to offer.

Fixing this is actually relatively easy. Take out the standardized part of standardized tests. The SAT’s are the best example of this, although not really. What I mean by this, is that the test cannot be about memorizing answers to questions, and the SAT does this by having a plethora of questions that can be asked, and the possibility of questions that haven’t even been published appearing on the test. What the SAT’s don’t do, however, is provide a test that you don’t study for, a test that you just show up, take, and they tell you how you did.

How do you do this? Well, the best thing I can think of, is more variety. As I said, the SAT’s already accomplish one of the things that need to be done with all standardized tests, but the other part, well, it doesn’t quite cut the mustard. There need to be more types of questions (if I remember correctly, there’s 4 types of questions in each section of the test, but even if there’s 14, that doesn’t make a difference). The key, is so many ‘types’ of questions, that you can’t even categorize them into types. Or, in other words, don’t have types of questions at all.

Where improvement should really start though, is with all of these tests that don’t actually mean anything for the people taking them. I’m talking about all of those tests in everything from kindergarten through the end of high school. These are the worst of the standardized tests, because they actually harm the students, because the teachers spend all this time to train the students on these tests, taking away from time they should spend teaching things that actually matter.

Be Sociable, Share!

Posted in Social. Tagged with .

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.