Are Standardized Tests Really Effective?

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Everyone has taken a standardized test at some point in their life. I think it'd be safe to say standardized tests.jpgthat 100% of students in college have taken one; more commonly the ACT or the SAT. But are these standardized tests as effective in telling how "smart" or not a person is?

I believe that there are multiple levels of intelligence; most of which cannot be measured by a test. Yes some people are 'test-smart'- they understand the curriculum to a certain point, but are extremely good at taking the tests. These sort of people have advantages in the standardized testing world. It doesn't matter if there are others who are significantly smarter than them; if you don't do as well on the standardized test, it doesn't matter, you're not as smart, right?

Wrong. There may be some students who are extremely talented in a certain subject, take science for example, but not so good in English; because the standardized tests take the average of all the testing categories, this student could appear to colleges as unintelligent. For example, on the ACT this student got a 34 of 36 on his science and a 32 for math; but low scores in writing, English and reading caused his overall to be 26. Who is this test to tell this student that he is dumb? These tests are weighted so heavily in the college communities that it makes a drastic impact on the student's future. That is extremely unfair. It is understood that colleges look for well-rounded students, but say this student is looking to pursue a career in the maths and/or sciences, but is denied from colleges due to his overall score. This puts the student in an uncomfortable position; they feel as if they're not good enough. This student had the potential to do wonders in the math and science worlds, but due to standardized testing, he may never get the chance.


These tests consume so much of a high school student's time and money. As high-schoolers,you spend lots of money to take the test in the first place, then spend money on study groups, books, and tutors. The studying for the tests takes hours upon hours out of your day when you could be doing homework from your classes, or being social- both HUGE parts of high school. In the end only to be told whether we're "adequate enough for college".

Standardized testing may work for some situations, but there should be other ways when determining the outcome of someone's future- an extremely delicate topic to simply toy around with. Your life and your future shouldn't depend on a test.

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Do you think colleges only use the standardized tests? Why do you think they use them at all? What would you recommend that they use instead?

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This page contains a single entry by mosco015 published on November 19, 2011 6:45 PM.

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