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Moody Monday:: The Flaws of Standardized Testing

Starting tomorrow the sophomores will be taking the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT). Also during this time, freshmen will be taking practice CAPT tests in order to prepare them for next year. Not only at Woodland will these tests be conducted, but at high schools all across Connecticut. During the same time, elementary schools will be administering the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT). While standardized testing is taken all across the nation, there are many flaws in these tests.

According to education.com a standardized test is defined as a test that is administered and scored under uniform conditions. One of the problems with standardized testing is that every student receives the same test, with the same questions. This puts students with learning disabilities, and those who come from low-income schools at a disadvantage.

Not only do the conditions at school effect a child’s ability to perform on the test, but so do the conditions at home. Aside from the fact that well-off parents are able to afford tutors, study books, and computers in order to help their children succeed on standardized tests, there are a number of other reasons. Students who come from low-income families may not be able to afford breakfast. Before taking a test, it is extremely important that a student is able to eat a healthy breakfast so they can remain focused for the duration of the exam. Also, students who have to stay up late taking care of siblings while their parents are at work are less likely to do well on the exam.

Another problem with standardized testing is it may only be showing kids their weaknesses. Not every child is strong academically and while academics are important it is not the end of the world if a child does not receive all A’s and B’s. When given standardized tests all students are asked the same questions. A majority of the time the standardized test questions focus on math, reading, and writing all of which require a student to be gifted in the classroom. Due to the fact that standardized tests only score students on their academic abilities, some students become discouraged.

Often, the test scores on these standardized tests play a big part in how a student is ranked or seen by their school faculty. This however, is not fair. Not all students are good test takers. Even the smartest student may feel sick one day, or perhaps get nervous before the test. The grade received on a standardized test should not be the most important factor of a student’s academic success. When this is the case students become discouraged and some even end up dropping out of school.

Since standardized testing is so important when comparing education between states and even countries, school teachers are forced to teach to the tests. But, just because a student knows the questions on the test this does not necessarily they are receiving a good education. School is supposed to teach children a variety of different subject matter and if schools are only teaching to testing it limits what a teacher is able to do and teach.

Although test makers try their best, the truth of the matter is standardized tests are not always flawless. Sometimes their may be mistakes in test booklets, or even when the tests are being scored. This means the results of these standardized tests are not always accurate.

While standardized testing is important, it is not crucial to a students academic success. So while students begin to prepare for their exciting week of testing they should remember to try their best, but not to stress. Because even if they do not receive a perfect score, it is likely that they will still get into college and one day get a job.

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