Are Standardized Tests Actually Useful?

Laurel Davis, Staff Writer

Many students are used to taking a standardized test every year. These types of tests include Milestones, PSATS, SATS, and more. However, are these tests effective? 

Most students would agree that these tests are not something they enjoy or choose to take. Do students think these tests are useful?  Sophomore Spencer Burdette says, “No, I don’t get different grades; it doesn’t bring them up at all.” These tests do not help students academically and their results are practically useless when it comes to displaying their knowledge.  

You might be thinking that it’s obvious that students would not want to take a standardized test, but what do teachers think about these tests? Most teachers will have an opinion on these tests that will vary from teacher to teacher. English teacher Mrs. Gaffigan says, “I argue that they are not even focusing on that specific subject, they are focusing more on the test themselves. They’ll cram in a study session, they’ll try and say, ‘Hey I should be knowing this already, I know that especially with standardized testing from the county, from the state, or even from SATS, it’s really hard to study for a test that covers so much at once.” 

Students aren’t actually paying attention to the things they’re being tested on; they’re being forced to remember loads of information and write that information down just to receive a score that doesn’t affect their grade. Math teacher Ms. Jones says, “You can’t just judge a kid based on letter grades, sometimes it’s about interests, and what they excel at, sometimes they don’t excel at some subjects.” 

There are some students who can do very well in one subject, but not the other, so why give them a test on the subject they lack and let that represent their knowledge? Students and teachers can agree that standardized tests, for the most part, don’t have a point. Studying for said tests interferes with students’ personal lives as they lose time to study and review things for core classes, and they are not a good demonstration of a student’s smarts.