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20 Standardized Tests Pros And Cons

Author: Dalia Yashinsky

Concerns over standardized testing range from how reliable they are in reflecting students’ abilities, to how they could have potential negative impacts on students that may be knowledgeable but struggle with high-stakes test environments.

Still, there are advantages to standardized testing. Standardized tests can be immensely useful to gain a pulse on the quality of the curriculum, and whether it meets specified learning goals and objectives. Standardized tests also help point out areas for improvement in education, and emphasize aspects of students’ education that could be lacking.

There are many legitimate reasons to be in favor of standardized testing, as there are reasons to be against it. Let’s go over the top 20 pros and cons of standardized testing so you can decide for yourself whether you’re in favor or against standardized tests.

Pros of Standardized Tests

Cons of Standardized Tests

PRO: They enable schools to track student progress.

CON: A single test cannot sufficiently tell a student’s knowledge. If the student has a bad day, it sticks with them!

PRO: They help teachers to identify areas for improvement.

CON: Standardized tests cause stress and anxiety for children.

PRO: They help keep schools accountable to policymakers.

CON: Teachers ‘teach to the test’ which leads to the lower-quality rote learning method of teaching.

PRO: The uniformity of tests minimizes marker bias.

CON: Poor test results can lead to low student self-esteem

PRO: Grading is efficient because it can be done by machines.

CON: Low scores on one single high-stakes test can prevent you from getting into a good college.

PRO: All students take the same test which enables fair comparisons.

CON: Standardized tests privilege white middle-class students who historically know how to ‘play the game’ of standardized testing better than minorities.

PRO: Test scores are objective and not ambiguous or subjective.

CON: Standardized tests cannot effectively cater to all learning styles.

PRO: Having upcoming tests that compare students can motivate students to study hard.

CON: A single test score does not provide a comprehensive overview of a student’s abilities and value.

PRO: Standardized testing is consistent across schools and systems which keeps all teachers nation-wide on track.

CON: Students learn to the test, meaning they will ignore any information or learning opportunities that are not part of the upcoming test.

PRO: Standardized tests encourage students to get into study habits that set them up well for college.

CON: A test score does not indicate college readiness. E.g. Resilience and self-motivation are important factors that aren’t tested.

DMU Timestamp: July 13, 2023 21:18

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