Standardized testing needs to go

High stakes exams are a bad measure of learning


Johanna Kaplan

Standardized exams have faced a lot of criticism recently. Specifically for high school students, these tests are a cause for concern. They are stressful, time-consuming and do a bad job of assessing students’ knowledge. 

Standardized testing has gotten out of hand, as students now spend hours of rigorous training all for a good score. School should be about learning the material for your class, not about learning how to do well on the test itself. Tests are meant to be a measure of a student’s progress, but when they become the main focus for students, it’s gone too far. 

Personally, I’ve found this to be true in an AP class I am taking this year. A good portion of the class is simply learning about the ins and outs of the AP exam ahead. While I understand studying is important, too much of this class has become about learning how to take a test instead of spending that time learning about the material. 

Additionally, standardized tests are a very shallow way to judge a student’s knowledge. After all, how can only one or two tests determine the exact academic level at which a person is at? What if someone is having a bad day and doesn’t do well? Many students don’t perform well on tests, no matter how much of the material they’ve learned. These tests do not take into account academic growth throughout the year, nor do they consider any measure of creativity. 

There is far too much emphasis placed on standardized testing — kids look at their scores as a measure of their self-worth. This high stakes environment is an overwhelming place to be and it creates a very unhealthy, competitive atmosphere amongst students. 

Overall, standardized tests are stressful and not worth the time and energy students put into them.