Brooklyn A. Indiana

Standardized Stress

A plea for common sense in the growing realm of standardized testing and the stress it causes students.

Dear future President,

I am very aware that education is essential to the success of an individual. However, from personal experience, I am also completely aware of the dubious amounts of stress pushed onto high school students. While some of these things are definitely necessary such as required classes, or proper amounts of homework; some of the task students are required to complete are not. I myself have seen fellow honor classmates lose their passion for education after taking a countless number of state required test. The number of standardized test that students in U.S. public schools are required to take has sky-rocketed in the past decade. According to a new council of the Great City Schools, a typical student takes 112 mandated standardized tests between pre-kindergarten classes and 12th grade. By contrast, most countries that outperform the U.S. on international exams only test their students three times during their school careers.

The stressful task of standardized tests has now become something that students dread throughout their grade school years. If students become overburdened with this particular test, the amount of effort put in will be reduced and their scores will not be accurate representations of their intelligence. Test such as the PSAT, SAT, and ACT are all strong factors in determining an individual’s future. This creates a huge problem for students struggling with test anxiety. This distinctive disorder is a real issue and for students everywhere, it is the one thing keeping them from portraying their full potential. Throughout my school career, I have seen many intelligent individuals in my honors and dual credit classes fail to achieve what they want to achieve simply because their standardized test scores were not where they needed to be. Nerves and even a lack of sleep can put a huge damper on a student’s test score when they have the potential to do so much better.

The amount of standardized testing required for grade school students is becoming more damaging than effective and steps should be taken simply to reduce the amount of stress pushed onto these individuals. For years, we are told to try our hardest, study, and take school seriously. Personally, I have spent countless hours hovered over my kitchen table at night slaving away on school work, my teachers words burnt in the back of my mind. I don’t mind the hard work but it would pain me deeply to see years of determination amount to nothing due to a test score. It is simply unfair to grade an individual’s overall intelligence after examining their scores on one test. It is simply atrocious to deprive a perfectly capable and intelligent individual from attending the school they are properly equipped for due to a simple test score. It is simply nonsensical to possibly ruin the drive and confidence in a student due to the percentage of questions answered correctly on their test. It is simply clear, future President that the amount of standardized tests should be reduced. So I ask you, with utter respect, to seek a resolution to this very evident issue. We are the future generation, and our potential should not be hidden behind a meaningless test score.

Thank you in advance for your consideration,