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Should Standardized Tests Be Eliminated from School - Personal Statement Example

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The paper “Should Standardized Tests Be Eliminated from School?” discusses if standardized knowledge assessment is relevant to education requirements. Such tests allow to lazy, but resourceful pupils to write off and get higher scores than get excellent students who are tested without fraud.   …
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Should Standardized Tests Be Eliminated from School
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Standardized Tests Should Be Eliminated from School
A standardized test can be described as one that is given in a similar manner to all individuals to which the test is administered to and is graded on a previously agreed upon basis. They have been used to grade pupils in schools all over the country and have been responsible for the way that a society view an individual’s potential in future life endeavors such as attaining a successful career. Although this has become a very popular method of examination in the country over the years, it does not hold merit in all the values that education strives to produce in a student and therefore should be eliminated from schools in search for a better system.
The first reason that these types of tests should be eliminated from the school system is the fact that they are not able to recognize a good many attributes that should be taken into consideration when estimating a student’s potential such as work ethic/effort, commitment and creativity among others. Standardized tests have been designed to judge an individual on basic skill or knowledge that has been previously taught and does not take in to consideration that all students are different and have different strengths and weaknesses. The fact that an individual is not able to pass a math test does not mean that he is a poor student as the person may be gifted in other aspects that are not examined such as art and other practical skills (Cathy15). Using the standardized tests to grade a student’s potential may lead to the overlooking of his other skills that hold just as much value and can lead him to a successful means of making a living which is after all the basic point of an education.
Another reason why standardized tests should be eliminated from schools is the narrowing of the curriculum as a result of the limitations that are put upon the education system. Teachers will only teach what is going to be tested, and as a result, many leave out anything else. This may include various factors in life that may add value to an individual but is wholly ignored as it is not in the curriculum. For example, English literature is taught to enhance one’s reading skills, but few students are taught the value of the literature they are reading. As a result, they hold no appreciation for the author or his works and will only bother reading a book if they are going to be tested as they have not learned the true value of literature (Cathy Pg24). This can be seen by the diminishing reading culture in today’s youth as few students will read a book that they do not have to. This can potentially limit the development of an individual if all they do is absorb the information that is needed for them to pass a test and then potentially forget all about it once they have passed the examination and have moved on. A narrow curriculum also prevents one from further exploring aspects that students may be good at as it is not within the spectrum of the standardized tests.
Standardized tests also make it easier for students to cheat in examinations. Though the particular content of a standardized exam may be different from test to test, the knowledge that is tested basically remains the same, and this opens a gate way for the more innovative but lazy individuals to find a way around the system. They are able to come up with clever ways to get the answers meaning that the final grade is not entirely reliable even when efforts are put in place to curb this activity from taking place. The development of technology has also made it easier for individuals to get their hands on fast information at the press of a button (Cathy Pg94). Standardized tests allow students to know what to anticipate and thus figure out ways how to circumvent around the barriers that have been put in place by the examiners to prevent cheating.
However, not everyone agrees with the elimination of standardized tests and those in its favor mainly argue that it advocates for fairness as everyone is given the same test and thus judged on the same scale as well as its results are easier to document due to its similarity factor (Cathy 78). However, new methods of documentation can be agreed upon if necessary and one has to ask is it worth risking the quality of education for an easier documentation process and would it not be more fair to give a student a test that will judge them on their particular capabilities instead of herding them all into one big group when they are clearly distinct from one another? Standardized tests may not necessarily be the destruction of the very fabric of the education system but there is no denying that a better means of testing and grading could and should be found with which to examine students
Reference
Cathy, Davidson. Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will
Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn, 2011. New York: Viking. Print. Read More
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