6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Standardized Testing

Several education bills have been passed which would limit the amount of standardized testing and most states in the U.S. are in the news related to this test. In the state of New York, state Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch was replaced while in around 12 states, some standardized tests are on hold. Why has this become a contentious topic? Let us discuss some of the rewards and drawbacks of this form of test.

List of Advantages of Standardized Testing

1. This is a useful assessment tool.
One of the advantages of standardized testing is its being an effective way to determine if a child is prepared to go to school based on intellectual levels. By having a set of questions answered by all the students in a certain grade level, it will be easier to determine if he or she is ready to move on to another grade level and if the student needs special education. If yes, then he or she can join a class or be enrolled in a special course fitted for his intellectual capacity.

2. It levels of the playing field.
Since students will be answering the same sets of questions, test-takers will be on the same playing field with no special treatment, so to speak. These questions are given in a standardized format and computation of results is devoid of human intervention. This leaves no room for favoritism and bias since assessment is done objectively.

3. It trains students for college exams.
With the strict rules encompassing standardized testing, students will be more prepared once they sit for college entrance exams. Preparations for these tests are both done in school and at home, giving students more resources and materials to pass the test. In the end, they can apply the techniques they have applied once they are in colleges and universities.

List of Disadvantages of Standardized Testing

1. This type of testing is disadvantageous to non-English speaking students.
Some critics say that these tests are discriminatory to individuals who do not use English as their first language. Since they will be given exams that are in English, it might be possible that they will not fully understand the instructions. Or perhaps, this will require them to learn to read and speak English which will take time and effort.

2. Results can be inaccurate.
The scores in standardized testing might send misleading indicators to educators when it comes to student evaluation. Since the questions will be coming from a question bank and will comprise general topics and not specific ones, this is not necessarily an accurate way to assess the intellect of students. And with the multiple choice exam type, results might not be accurate since it is possible that students can make wild guesses in answering questions.

3. This costs taxpayers’ money.
Standardized testing is a billion dollar business and the money to fund this type of testing. Moreover, it can also be costly to rectify erroneous results as well as time consuming. With the time needed to release results, usually taking months, this can entail expenses. When it comes to students filing for re-evaluation of results, this can also require time and money.

Standardized testing is effective so long as the process is improved. By doing this, the needed adjustments can be made and in the end, students will benefit from this.