The Student News Site of Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School

The General Consensus

The Student News Site of Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School

The General Consensus

The Student News Site of Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School

The General Consensus

The Unfairness of Standardized Testing

Are you a good test taker?
Charlotte Maunsell
Standardized testing is used throughout students lives. The SAT’s are normally taken in high school and preparing for them is a big expense on families.

Are you a good test taker? What if how well you are at taking a test could determine your future? Standardized testing should be abolished because it is not an adequate way to measure students’ intelligence. 

Standardized testing is not an effective way to judge people’s skills, abilities, and academic knowledge. However, the scores are used in different ways inside schools and used to determine many things in life. 

According to The School of Education, “Standardized test scores are often tied to important outcomes, such as graduation and school funding. Such high-stakes testing can place undue stress on students and affect their performance.” 

According to NeaToday, Allisa Holland, an instructional coach at Milford Public School District in Massachusetts, says, “Standardized tests create test anxiety, and some kids even have test phobia because they have just this one chance at getting it right.”

This fear and anxiety can impact their confidence and ability to score well on tests. 

The article “Anxiety in Schools: The Causes, Consequences, and Solutions for Academic Anxieties” by J.C. Cassidy reports that “approximately 25-40% of US students suffer from test anxiety.” 

This research shows that tests affect many students in the US. Some students work very hard at school but then get very nervous about their scores before they take them. 

The School of Education states, “The ACT and SAT, standardized tests used broadly for college admissions, assess students’ current educational development and their aptitude for completing college-level work.

These tests can determine which students get into a certain college. MIT, Georgetown University, University of Florida, and more still require an average SAT or ACT score to get into the school. 

There are classes available to prepare you. However, test prep courses often cost money. 

SAT prep can cost a lot of money. It is a big expense that not all families can afford. (Charlotte Maunsell)

According to Prep Scholar, individual ACT prep can cost $1600-$1800, and SAT tutoring can cost anywhere between $40-$200 an hour.  These rates are very high and are not in everyone’s price range. 

This gives wealthier students an advantage because they can afford to take more prep classes. 

These tests can be used to determine your future, and more preparation gives some kids a higher chance of scoring better. 

These preparations can give students a feeling of confidence and readiness, but what about the kids who don’t have access to these preparation classes and courses?

This can create an uneven playing field because some students have access and can pay for more preparation to take these tests. 

Recently, MIT has reinstated the SAT/ACT requirement. They state, “Our research shows standardized tests help us better assess the academic preparedness of all applicants.” 

This gives students who have more money an advantage because they can pay for more preparation. They are testing the “preparedness of all applicants,” which emphasizes that if you have access to more preparation, you will have an advantage. 

Meanwhile, many people argue that the tests create an even playing field for all students. 

However, is it fair if some students have been more prepared? 

In a paper by Opportunity Insights, students from families in the top 1% were 13 times more likely than children from lower-income families to get a 1300 or higher on the SAT/ACT. 

Some people have proposed a new solution. This solution is called Performance-based assessment (PBA). 

According to NeaToday, “PBA is a system of learning and assessment that allows students to demonstrate skill through critical thinking problems, problem-solving, collaboration, and the application of knowledge to real-world situations.”

These tests help students prepare for college, careers, and life. They allow the students to use their knowledge to demonstrate it in PBA.

Standardized testing creates a barrier between classes because of preparation. It also tests preparedness, not the intellectual intelligence that all students have, but some can’t show on standardized tests. 

Overall, standardized tests do not effectively measure students’ intelligence or success at the college level. Currently, University policies regarding admissions requirements are shifting. When applying to colleges, be sure to note their SAT/ACT policies to determine whether your academic potential will be measured by a test. 

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About the Contributor
Charlotte Maunsell, Student Journalist
Charlotte Maunsell is a freshman at Hamilton Wenham Regional High School. Charlotte likes to write, so she thought this would be a fun opportunity to learn more about the writing world. In Charlotte’s free time, she loves to play volleyball, ski, and hang out with her friends.

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