Opinion: Standardized testing is an effective way of measuring a student’s readiness

David Lane, Staff Writer

Standardized testing has and always should be a part of a student’s journey through school. Making sure they remain in use is important for both the student body and universities deciding who to accept.

Besides being the most accepted metric for college admissions tests, standardized testing allows for easy comparisons between students to be made. Teachers are never equal in how they grade, making it impossible to compare simple letter grades between students across the nation. Tests like the SAT and ACT are much more evolved than any other test high schoolers take. They are specifically designed to have a fair balance of questions to ensure students are able to articulate what they know without any outside factors interfering.

According to an article from The 74 Million Organization, a non-profit news organization that specializes in covering K-12 education, “[Standardized tests are] in fact, a rigorous and highly scientific process, one that has been developed over 100 years and reflects research by generations of esteemed scholars. It has its own subfield, psychometrics, and every year universities graduate new Ph.D.s in that subfield.”

Standardized tests are not only good measures for the students ability in the classroom, but are also good measures for a teacher’s skill.

An article from RealClearEducation, a news source made in the specific interest of detailing education news, claimed, “Assessment is a key element of teaching and learning—and of system accountability. Too many educators have gaps in their understanding of assessment design, the role of formative and summative tests, and how standardized tests are a crucial equity tool.”

Judging a teacher’s skill is especially crucial during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Using standardized tests as a means of checking a teacher’s ability to work under new social distance learning, whether remote or in person, is necessary to have a functioning and thriving class environment.

Some people think that standardized testing is not a good metric for showing how much information a student knows. Students with test anxiety will not be able to perform as well on tests as those who do not suffer from this disorder.

While these students should not be ignored, students without these issues vastly outnumber those with this affliction. The American Test Anxieties Association said, “About 16-20% of students have high test anxiety, making this the most prevalent scholastic impairment in our schools today.” While this number cannot be ignored, at least 80 percent of students will benefit from a standardized test system.

Helping those people who have test anxiety is a better alternative to getting rid of standardized tests all together. Standardized tests allow students to be merited for their skills as learners and their ability to remember what they learned in the classroom. Removing this leaves a students ability exclusively up to the teacher, which could lead to bias. Although not a perfect system, standardized tests are the most fair option for measuring a student’s abilities.