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Pros & Cons of Standardized Tests

Students writing standardized tests in school

Standardized tests. Only two words, but a world of stress for teachers, students, and parents. The big question is, are standardized tests actually helping or hurting student learning? A hotly debated topic, we look at some of the pros and cons of these tests, and ask your opinion on the issue.

Standardized Testing – PROS

  1. Gives teachers guidance on student learning and their own teaching practices.
  2. Gives students a picture of their progress (or lack of) over a number of years in significant areas (math, reading, writing).
  3. Gives parents information on how their child is performing compared to students locally, provincially, and nationally, as well as how their child’s school as a whole compares to others.
  4. Gives governments information on the education system in order to improve areas that are lacking.

Standardized Testing – CONS

  1. Creates major stress for students and teachers.
  2. Creates competition between students, schools, districts, etc. that takes away focus from the ultimate goal (student success).
  3. Creates disadvantages for students who do not perform well on tests, or do not have background knowledge necessary to complete questions effectively.
  4. Creates a limited scope of learning and success, only measuring specific areas like reading, writing, and math, rather than a full picture of children and how they learn, including creativity, collaboration skills, drive, social skills, etc.

What are some other pros and cons of standardized testing? 

What’s your opinion: should they stay or go?


Failing An Exam Can Be A Good Thing

Researchers have discovered that taking pretests (testing knowledge before actually learning course material) can help students better focus and retain information on key content.

Learn Why

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