Standardized Testing

Read Complete Research Material

Standardized Testing


Standardized tests have been an integral part of the American education system since the mid-19th century. Current examples of standardized tests include the Stanford Achievement Test, which is used to assess students in K-12; the ACT college entrance examination; and the United States Medical Licensing Examination, which is used to license physicians. These tests are characterized by the uniformity of the content, administration conditions, and scoring.

Standardized form of assessment has been subject to changes, one aspect of educational standardized testing that has remained constant throughout the course of its history is its ability to remain at the center of controversy and debate. The role, effectiveness, and intent of standardized testing have always been questioned; whether an instrument attempts to assess student competency or potential or to measure the effectiveness of instruction and administration, especially when connected to a reform effort (Henningfeld, 25). Main objective of the paper is to present arguments over the acceptance of standardize testing. Standardized test alone cannot measure the knowledge level of a person; it should be combined with other test measures to enhance the objectivity of assessment.

A number of these testing protocols use a single, annual, standardized test to determine a student's academic progress. Test results are commonly used to identify a learner's progress and promotion to the next grade or retention at the current grade level. Standardized tests do an excellent job in providing the evidence needed to make norm-referenced interpretations regarding the knowledge or skills of students (Phelps, 17). However, standardized tests should not be used to evaluate the quality of education. The primary reason why students' scores on these tests do not provide an accurate indication of teaching effectiveness is that any inference about the quality of education based on student achievement in standardized tests of achievement needs to be validated against other measures (Elford, 35).

Standardized tests have grown to become the preferred assessment method for public school districts, and consequently, their presence impacts the curriculum choices for schools. In some cases, tests measure students' progress only in the core subjects of mathematics and language arts, ignoring development in other learning areas. This limitedness may have the unintended consequence of restructuring a school's priorities in curriculum planning.

Standardized tests are assessment tools that aim to measure what students know and what they are able to do in relation to academic learning objectives or learning standards. Standardized tests typically measure knowledge and skills gained through classroom instruction at a certain grade level. To ensure all students taking the test receive the same amount of direction and time, administrative instructions need to be provided that may include scripted directions for the instructor to read to the group or individual.

Objectivity of Standardized Testing and Implications

In education, the goal of standardized testing is to provide accurate information about students in order to make well-informed decisions. Results from tests have served multiple purposes, such as guiding instruction, meeting accountability demands, promoting equity, and increasing efficiency. Interwoven with these purposes is the use of standardized tests as instruments ...
Related Ads