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Standardized tests are common in USA and many other countries around the world. Standardized tests are administered to students mainly at mid-term and also at the end of the term. Despite the widespread usage of standardized tests, however, the question of the efficacy of the standardized tests in measuring the students’ ability is a highly controversial issue. A critical look at this debate shows that the use of standardized tests to measure students’ ability is not effective. This paper gives an argument to show that the standardized tests do not accurately measure students’ ability.
To begin with, one of the reasons why the standardized tests do not accurately measure the students’ ability is that most of the time, the questions used in the standardized tests covers only a small portion of the syllabus. In other words, it is not possible for the questions used in the standardized tests to cover everything leant in the syllabus (Garrison, 2009). For this reason, it is possible for the questions used in the standardized tests to cover only the aspects of the syllabus that some students have not understood well or are not good at. For that reason, some students fail in standardized tests not because they are not intelligent, but because the aspect of the syllabus covered by the questions is the aspect that they have not grasped well or they are not good at. This fact shows that the use of standardized test to measure the students’ ability is not an effective way of testing the students’ ability.
Secondly, the standardized tests do not take cognisance of the fact that some students may be poor in written exams but very good at oral exams (Popham, 1999). There are, of course, many bright students who fail their written exams, not because they are not intelligent, but simply because they are not good at written exams.
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Importance is put to these tests because the government, through performance-based bonuses and intervention or closure threats on schools, pressure teachers and administrators to help students get high standardized test grades. The pressure on teachers are then passed onto the students.
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 test are also scored and administered in a prearranged, as well as standard manner (Butler & Stevens, 2009). Any test whereby a similar test is administered in the similar manner to all the people taking the test refers to a standardized test. These types of tests are not strictly time-limited tests, high-stakes tests, or multiple-choice tests.
The most frequent and renowned use of testing is applied in academics. Schools use standardized test to assess the performance of children. Standardized tests have become a very important tool in determining the educational tendencies of students. Standardized tests are applied throughout the world for child assessment.
Some of the tests are discussed below.
These were the first standardized tests developed by psychologists, and are the most widely used tests. Intelligence is defined in different ways by different psychologists. Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon, two French psychologists, explicitly defined the components of intelligence as "reasoning, judgement, memory, and the power of abstraction." They measured intelligence as the "general mental ability of individuals in intelligent behaviours" and described intelligence testing as classifying, not measuring.
One cannot simply imply that another person is intelligent on the basis that he is good in science or math. Intelligence is not confined to the mental abilities that are utilized in analytical thinking. This is clearly shown in Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences.
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TOEFL iBT is an internet-based test for international students planning to study in English-speaking countries. It is given at secure Internet-based test centers. The purpose of the test is to
Standardized tests fail to measure student’s cognitive abilities and aptitude because learners from different schools across the country are subjected to different learning environment. Additionally, teaching practices and behaviors
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