Do Tests Really Matter?

Tests are the worst way to evaluate a student’s academic progress

  Tests are intended to show schools and teachers a student’s academic progress and success or failures, but is it really the best way to evaluate a student? For a long time, many believed that to be the case, but today, that thought process is being questioned more and more, as it should be.

  In specific, standardized testing is one of the more significant reasons for many high school students to feel more stressed and discouraged about their academic performances due to a score that shouldn’t reflect what a student truly knows.

  Tests don’t accurately reflect a student’s intelligence; as a matter of fact, they don’t truly show much of anything. In particular, standardized tests are more of a liability than a help for students, as they provide no insight into how students can improve and their grading systems can vary. 

  Standardized tests apply to this as well as they can be effective at evaluating students’ skills in basic subjects such as math, reading, and writing, but they fail to measure every single other subject of education. It can be assumed tests don’t truly measure a student’s intelligence but rather just their knowledge of the basics.

  More often than not, you will also notice many students dealing with stress and anxiety while preparing for these tests which can likely affect a student’s academic performance while testing, even if they prepared for the test prior. 

  Since tests are often what makes or breaks a student’s grade, they are often put under extreme pressure to perform well, and it’s just not realistic to assume everyone can meet expectations. Students who learn and demonstrate academic proficiency in different ways are not taken into account on standardized tests.

  Students who don’t perform well on tests can also be affected by their mental health as lower scores can cause feelings of depression, anxiety, stress, and lack of self-esteem which isn’t a struggle that anyone should have to go through.

  As reported by the Washington Post, a study was conducted to gain some perspective on how standardized testing affects students within selected public schools and the results showed that a majority of surveyed students responded deeming that standardized testing is too overwhelming and demoralizing.

  From an educator’s point of view, I can understand why they believe that tests are a fair evaluation of their student’s performance as it is their best indicator of academic performance, however, it doesn’t account for the fact that every student processes information differently.

  Tests serve their occasional purpose, but their significance should be diminished in the classroom and with the entire school district. A better alternative should be the replacement for tests that allows every student to have the best opportunity to succeed in their subject of interest rather than basic curriculum knowledge.

  It is just a simple truth. Not everyone is a good test taker, but there shouldn’t be shame in admitting that because everyone learns and prepares differently and students shouldn’t be defined by just one statistical category out of their entire grade.