Is Standardized Testing Testing Students’ Patience?


Spring this year comes with stress, test preparation, and #2 pencils. SATs, AP exams, and finals are just around the corner; everyone at South from the students to the teachers to the parents should be informed about standardized testing.

Everybody knows that no student likes to take standardized tests, and no teacher likes to test prep. But not everyone fully understands standardized testing, and many people have questions about it.

For example, what do the students and faculty really think about the effectiveness of standardized testing? Is the stress and test prep themselves too much to bear, or is it just the sheer number of tests? How should the scores affect the student’s grades and admission to colleges?

One of the biggest questions: is standardized testing really necessary for a child’s education? Mrs. Pustay, the senior house principal of CB South, says that standardized testing is necessary to assess multiple students.

Some students say that standardized testing could be helpful, if done correctly. Deb Kogan, a senior at CB South, said “It’s understandable that students must be tested to assess their skills, but it should not determine their grades and possibly futures.”

However, some students don’t feel that way. Julie Kim, another senior at CB South, said “ I think that standardized testing is not an accurate way to assess a student.”

A variety of people have a variety of answers and different reasoning on if standardized testing is accurate. That is not the only debatable issue with standardized testing.

Another question, is the amount of stress enough for productivity or too much to process? Many students said that it puts far too much on them throughout the year. In some, it even influences their focus on things like extracurriculars and jobs.

Speaking of jobs, does standardized testing prepare students for the real world in a way? Mrs. Pustay says, “It provides a fair amount of stress as a whole; however, you need to look at each student individually to see the amount stress.”

In contrast, Deb Kogan says she believes that it causes way too much stress on children, not only for the sheer number of tests but difficulty on some tests.

Getting ready for the real world for some individuals involve going to college. Certain colleges require a minimum score for tests such as the SATs or ACTs, while a few colleges have become test optional. Some students believe that one score on a test shouldn’t determine something that affects the future; however, others say that it keeps the criteria for the school high.

Can standardized testing help students improve themselves or refine skills such as time management? “There is an aspect of time management,” sys Deb Kogan, “but that’s something that could be learned through other ways less detrimental to a student’s grade.”

Mrs. Pustay, however, said that it does provide good practice for time management and teaches the students good life skills.

The skill of time management is something all students need with multiple tests occurring around the same timeframe. Many students have said that it is difficult to manage multiple tests with different subject matter.

Students not only need to manage testing for core classes like English and math, but some students with an interest in engineering and business must take other testing. What about the fine arts, should they have required testing on topics like techniques and history?

Julie Kim says, “Don’t touch the arts, don’t because that will take away the freedom of it.”

Mrs. Pustay believes that fine arts students should more likely be evaluated by things like portfolios and musical performances.

“It is based primarily on the individual, the amount of stress they experience,” says Mr. Pustay. “The number [of tests] is not really an issue, if they are all needed.”

But some students such as Deb Kogan and Julie Kim believe that the system should be changed.