When I think about standardized testing, I think that those scores are my future, as most students do. I associate the better scores with more opportunities for the future. I personally test well, though a lot of my friends struggle with it. The issue of standardized testing effects most people in the world. There are reasons why standardized testing should be a big part of students grades and there are reasons it shouldn’t. I’m going to talk about the reasons why it shouldn’t. Those reasons are that some students struggle with test anxiety, and there is a ton of pressure on the teachers.
My friend, Morgan, struggles from test anxiety, so when she has to take an important test she starts getting nervous because she feels like this is her one chance to take the test and do good on the test. Morgan described it to me like this when I asked her about it, “It’s like you look at something you know how to do and everything goes out the window. It’s like reading in a different language.” So that means someone could study and study, but when you get to the exam, all that information just leaves. You forget all you have studied and you are left sitting and staring at the test. More teens than you think are affected by test anxiety, according to the American Test Anxieties Association, “About 16-20% of students have high test anxiety, making this the most prevalent scholastic impairment in our schools today. Another 18% are troubled by moderately-high test anxiety.” So many kids are pressured by the exams and tests, because they feel like they need to do good on the exams. The pressure doesn’t just come from one exam as well. Students have 7-10 classes and almost every class has a standardized test at the end of it. So the pressure of all those exams, and doing well on them, can get to students with test anxiety. But exams are a good thing. They are used to test knowledge and show what the student knows. Although there are some situations, as mentioned before, that the student is at a disadvantage during the test. That means it wouldn’t be showing what the person knows it would be showing what they know under test anxiety.
The pressure the teachers are under is one of the reasons we should change the way we involve standardized testing. Teachers in Atlanta were giving their students access to standardized tests before they took them and changing answers after they took them. In an article written by Robert Prentice he states, “The scandal did not happen because people were unable to decide whether cheating was right or wrong. Everyone knows cheating is wrong.” The teachers and everyone else in the world, as Prentice says, know cheating is wrong. If the teachers are pressured to change answers there must be something motivating them to do that. Teacher evaluations are impacted by the scores their students get, as well as the students grades. Plus, teachers want their kids to do well on standardized testing and the exams they give. The teachers know that their students know the material that they are being tested on, so when they see the kids final grade they can sometimes feel frustrated with themselves. Of course, many will probably disagree that this is affecting them and it will never affect them because the teachers they had, or have, would never cheat for them. However, the pressure of their job could be more than you know. It could also come from the frustration that they know, you know it, that would lead them to do it.
Standardized testing is something that we need in life. It could just be something that is a little less apparent in our lives. I think we need to stop making standardized testing a big part of students grades. If we stopped putting the pressure of exams and tests than students would have less test anxiety and teachers would have less pressure on them.