Standardized testing is a test that is administered and scored in a standard manner. It requires all the test takers to answer the same questions. The scoring should be consistent which makes it possible to compare the performance of individuals who attempted the test.
They consist of items of high quality. The items are selected based on difficult value, discrimination and relationship to identify the objectives in behavioral terms.
Pros of Standardized Testing
- It helps schools evaluate progress
A school can evaluate its progress in performance through the standardized tests they take. This is because they will be able to give the exact level where the school has reached as the test will be of high quality and it will contain difficult items that will the learners to think creatively to come up with the solutions.
- Helps to know areas of improvement
The school will be able to know the areas that need a lot of improvement for the learners to compete favorably with others hence they will put a lot of time on the areas which will eventually improve the score of the school.
- It is a metric of learning
The standardized tests are used to check if the quality of the curriculum is relevant to the learners or not and this may assist the country to make adjustments where they think the education is not relevant.
- Has a positive impact on student achievement
When a learner can score in a standard test, then he or she will know that she has achieved at that level of education and needs to move to the next level.
- Allows equal content for all students
Through standardized tests, the learners will be required to be equipped with equal content nationwide as the test will base on the content the learners have been given. This makes all learners be equal regardless of the social-economic status.
- Allows prioritization
The students can know their priority as they will have to put in more effort in the areas as they may assist them in their careers.
- Allows schools to know good teachers
Schools can know good teachers from how the learners perform as the performance of the learners is a true reflection of the teachers.
- It encourages critical thinking
Learners are allowed to think critically to come up with solutions to the problems given hence it can be used to know those who can think critically and those that have a challenge.
Cons of Standardized Testing
- It does not give a true picture of students’ ability
The scores obtained from standard tests do not give a clear picture of the students’ ability as some students are good at psychomotor skills which they need to be equipped with information in those areas.
- Pressure to teach
Teachers may have pressure to teach as the students are required to perform as the rest and this may make some teachers only teach the areas that they think they may be tested leaving out important knowledge the students should acquire.
- It can make other students not to have confidence
Those students that score highly will have confidence in themselves while this may make those that have low scores not to have confidence in themselves hence affecting them in their lifetime.
- More time is dedicated to test
Teachers will use more time to teach what is about to be tested and forget about teaching the learners the relevant skills that they need in life.
- It narrows the curriculum
The tests make the educators narrow down the curriculum and teach the learners what will be tested in the examination and this may leave out relevant knowledge from the curriculum.
- Teachers’ work is evaluated on what students do in standardized tests
This leaves out a lot of education that is offered to learners by their teachers as their work will only be measured through what the learners will do in standardized tests.
- It only looks at raw comprehension of data
The tests only look at one way of learning and this makes the students who learn through other means not to be recognized.
- It assumes that all students start from the same point of understanding
Not all students start from the same point of understanding and this may not be taken into consideration through the standardized tests.
- They can be predicted
The tests can be predicted and this may make it possible for irregularities in the examinations such as leakages.
- It has no positive impact on students’ education
Most students are not gaining from the education they are given for testing and this makes it a waste of time to them as they do not apply the education in their daily lives.
Standardized testing has both its pros and cons but the cons are more and that is why many countries are trying to change the education curriculum to fit the learners’ abilities. The education should take care of individual differences hence the learners can excel in different areas of life.