Standardized Tests

Extreme anxiety, endless hours of preparation, and billions of dollars all go towards an inaccurate representation of students and their capabilities on information that will eventually be forgotten. According to TIME Magazine, standardized tests have been around for more than 50 years and for more than 50 years they have been a controversial subject within schools. Standardized tests should no longer be incorporated in schools due to the incapability to show all students’ skills, the unnecessary cost, and the intense stress and anxiety.

Standardized tests are just not an accurate measurement of every student’s performance because they only test a narrow range of skills and knowledge. Not every child wishes to pursue a career that uses English, mathematics, or writing. Some children want to pursue skills of theirs that are not being tested on standardized tests. The American Institute for Learning and Human Development put it this way: “Standardized tests don’t value creativity. A student who writes a more creative answer in the margins of such a test, doesn’t realize that a human being won’t even see this creative response; that machines grade these tests, and a creative response that doesn’t follow the format is a wrong response.” Standardized tests shouldn’t be given to students because it does not test on all skills. It is simply telling children that creative fields are not as good as the ones that require more logic. Not to mention, even the material that the tests asses on are things that will only be in the children’s minds temporarily. The Brookings Institution published a study in 2001 that found that 80% of what children learned by studying for the test was temporary and did not affect long term learning. ( If standardized tests are not even helping kids learn new things and improve their learning, there is absolutely no point for them in school. It defeats the purpose of school, as it is a place to expand knowledge and grow in learning. The benefit is not worth the cost.

Standardized tests cause extreme anxiety and put huge amounts of stress on students. Students already have piles of responsibilities with school being first and foremost. Standardized tests cause unnecessary anxiety. Students are already getting graded on their learning., a website that assesses the pros and cons of controversial topics reads, " According to education researcher Gregory J. Cizek, anecdotes abound "illustrating how testing... produces gripping anxiety in even the brightest students, and makes young children vomit or cry, or both." [7] On Mar. 14, 2002, the Sacramento Bee reported that "test-related jitters, especially among young students, are so common that the Stanford-9 exam comes with instructions on what to do with a test booklet in case a student vomits on it.” The people who make the tests are already planning on students to vomit which means they know that these tests cause so much anxiety. Getting good grades is more than enough for kids to be worrying about.

       For all of this, standardized tests cost billions of dollars. An article on the Huffington Post explains, “Standardized Testing Costs States $1.7 Billion A Year, Study Finds. A new report by the Washington-based Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution calculates states spend a combined $1.7 billion annually on standardized testing.” This money should be going to schools in need and not to unnecessary tests. School districts around the world could greatly benefit from even a small portion of this money.

When asked, school district administrators might say standardized tests are a fair and accurate representation of students. But on closer inspection, skills are being left off the test that are important to many. Standardized tests are unnecessary. They cause more problems than they are solving. Although some may disagree because it supposedly weeds out people for colleges, this argument is invalid. It only weeds out the ones who don’t have extreme skills in the few topics that children are tested on. In order to make the students (the future leaders) succeed they must be eliminated from schools.


Fletcher, Dan. "Standardized Testing." Time. Time Inc., 11 Dec. 2009. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.

Armstrong, Thomas. "15 Reasons Why Standardized Tests Are Worthless."|American Institute for Learning and Human Development. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2015.

"Standardized Tests -" ProConorg Headlines. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2015.

Kuczynski-Brown, Alex. "Standardized Testing Costs States $1.7 Billion A Year, Study Finds." The Huffington Post., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2015.

Comments (4)

Jared Bauer (Student 2017)
Jared Bauer

I think you argue your point very well in this paper. However, I don't agree with it because I see standardized tests as a necessary evil in society. How else are we supposed to get a picture of what schools are successful and which one are not. Also with tests like SAT colleges need that because there plenty students with straight A's and not all of them can go to Harvard. I think system needs to relooked at but not eliminated entirely

Kara Heenan (Student 2017)
Kara Heenan

This expanded my thinking because I always knew that these tests were bad, just didn't realize how much to an extent they can affect a person. How much money goes into these tests is crazy and wasteful.

Logan Smith (Student 2017)
Logan Smith

Ella you did a really good job on your analysis making it clear where you stood in the your topic, but some of the quotes where really long. This did expand my thinking, I've never really thought about how test could cause so much anxiety. So good job!