Standardized Tests; Super-sized Stress

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Standardized Tests; Super-sized Stress

Presly Edwards, Writer

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Almost as soon as kids enter school, students take standardized tests (better known here in Georgia as the Georgia Milestones), at the end of the year. Students begin taking these tests as early as third grade and take them throughout the years until they graduate from high school. Standardized testing is mandated by the state and typically tests begin around two to three weeks before schools close for the summer. 

There are many opinions on whether we should or should not have mandatory state testing. Personally, this reporter thinks students should not have to take standardized tests. Students experience huge amounts of stress and anxiety when it comes to taking them. Not only is it stressful, but just flat out difficult to remember information learned at the beginning of the school year. Coming from a student, cramming 100 question review packets in two weeks before the test is not as successful as some teachers may think. Standardized tests are used to measure student growth and achievement, but in reality they simply set them up for failure. You cannot expect a student of any age to remember criteria obtained 8 months ago.

Additionally, teachers are required to teach standards what will be on these tests, when in reality these standards will not help students after high school. Teachers feel the need to “teach the test” and that does not allow them to teach students things they will actually use in the real world.

In middle school and high school, students take mid-term exams and final exams. Personally speaking, if a class has an end of course test, there should be no final. It is known that towards the end students are tired and just want the year to be over. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying teachers should allow students to slack in class, but just take into consideration that the students have already taken a major exam. Luckily, at Cartersville, students can exempt their final exams if they have an appropriate grade corresponding with the number of absences.

Overall, it is unfair to force students to take standardized tests. Some students learn differently than others, and I believe standardized tests discourage some students and may make them feel less-intelligent than their classmates. Standardized tests are a waste of time in education and cause unnecessary stress on students and teachers.

Learning is much easier and more enjoyable when everyone can learn their own way, and standardized testing absolutely takes that away from schools.