Opinion: Standardized testing is not an effective way of measuring a student’s college readiness

Emma Weaver, Food Editor

Standardized testing not only causes extremely unhealthy levels of anxiety and stress in students, but also forces student’s grades or acceptance into college to ride on one single grade.

Before students get the opportunity to take the SATs, they have to pay a $50 fee, or $60 for the SAT with Essay, only to have to wake up at 6 in the morning on a Saturday. They then have to drive to their “closest” testing center which only means spending more on gas, then sit for three to four consecutive hours in an uncomfortable chair in an eerie silent room only leaving you, your swirling thoughts and the test.

These conditions tend to lead to testing anxiety. Which is one of the worst things a student can experience. The excessive sweating, nausea, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath and brain splitting headaches overwhelm test takers’ while self-doubt, fear, stress, hopelessness, inadequacy, and anger surgue through their systems. According to the American Test Anxieties Association, about 16-20 percent of students have high test anxiety, while another 18 percent have moderately-high test anxiety. Making this the most prevalent scholastic impairment in our schools today. It only gets worse when the entire fate of a college entry or significant funds from a scholarship hang in the balance of one score.

Standardized testing does cause students to dedicate hours of studying, and learning time management skills. While also helping identify problem areas in students, prevents subjective grading and is an accurate way of evaluating what a student does or does not know across areas like math, reading, and writing.

Yet some parents stress so much about their child that they pay for Pre SAT courses. These can cost up to $50 if you do a self-guided course all the up to $800-$1800 for in-person courses or one-on-one time with tutors.

At the end of the day, most families don’t have $1800 to spare for a single test. Even though data released by the American Community Survey explained that approximately 175,000 Arizonans pulled themselves out of poverty between 2015 and 2018, 2020 threw everyone a curveball.

The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate decreased by 1.0 percentage point to 6.9 percent in October 2020. Which was the sixth consecutive month the rate has declined, but it was still nearly twice the February rate of 3.5 percent.

If your score doesn’t make the cut for scholarships or colleges, then you have to go through the whole process again. The only good thing about COVID-19 is that SAT/ACT scores are no longer required. Meaning less anxiety for all students, no more long morning drives, and no more spending money on useless tests.