Standardized Testing Narrative Essay

The recent increase in standardized testing has caused much controversy. With quarterlies, SGO’s and the PARCC, many New Jersey students have wondered if this is truly benefitting them or yet another exam to “test the teacher.” The increase in standardized tests has caused a general discontent with the public.

Individuals have valid concerns in questioning the purpose of the test, the amount, and if they are truly benefitting the student. I believe that standardized tests are necessary however are more effective in moderation. Standardized testing can cause a great deal of stress and competition. Students that have difficulty in the classroom may be discouraged, as they know very little on the exam. Teachers often explain that the test are for educators, “to see how well we are teaching” however it has become very difficult to believe them as the tests have become increasingly time consuming.

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Likewise, many public school districts must compete with other local schools for federal funds. These funds are awarded to school that perform well. This unhealthy competition has revolutionized schooling and created more pressure especially amongst elementary schools. For this reason, standardize tests are harming the education system. While standardized testing is inevitable, the amount of tests should and can be reduced. Students are often both uninterested in doing well and bored from the excessive testing; therefore not producing an accurate portrayal of how well a student may know the information.

How could an adult believe that a student would want to do well on such a long test? It does not incite students to do well because the testing becomes redundant, tedious, and excessive. Students must sit through a 3-hour test for 4 days just for the NJ ASK. In addition, students are asked to prepare for the ASK test at home while review in school. Countless hours are spent preparing for the tests which have led some schools to a decrease recess time in hopes of improving scores. Studies show the elimination of recess has a negative impact on a child’s social, emotional, and academic well-being.

The time spent testing and focused on testing becomes excessive and overwhelming for students. Lastly, many begin to wonder if the students are benefitting from standardizes tests. Are they a good measurement of the student’s knowledge? These tests generally focus upon English and Math skills but do not work on science, social studies, or foreign language. Students may be strong in subjects not focused upon so a test on solely English and Math is not an accurate showing of a student’s skills. Therefore, they are not benefitting the student because they do not necessarily show the academic caliber of a student. Likewise, if a student excels in only math and English, the weaknesses in other tests are not displayed.

Recently in many school districts, teachers have begun to “teach to the test.” This is a strategy which may hinder a student’s overall learning potential. This is when teachers focus on teaching specific aspects of the test to ensure their students will pass. This does not allow for a broad education and neglects to teach students skills beyond the test. With the stakes becoming higher and higher for educators, the practice will continue. Likewise, this practice leads to a very restricting classroom.

There is little room for imagination as it creates an atmosphere that lack creativity. Standardized testing is generally not beneficial for students In summary, standardized tests may be a necessary evil, however must be done in moderation to reduce the harmful effects. Standardized testing has caused much controversy because many believe this is the best way to tests students. While it tries to provide a uniform education for all, there are also many complaints against testing.