Sat. Sep 24th, 2022

Taking standardized tests is one of the most hated experiences in modern organized education. It involves spending weeks, even months learning material and strategies that are specifically geared toward the test, and then having to put your skills to the test one morning for several hours as you finally take the test that you have been worrying about, in some cases for years. Then, weeks later, you get your scores back and find out if some huge decision has been made about your life that you now can’t do anything about without taking that same test over again.

It’s easy to get upset about, and frustrated with, the whole concept of standardized testing, but before you get too bothered by it, let’s stop for a moment and think about why such tests are necessary. As the scope of organized education gets bigger and bigger, there are more and more problems associated with that organization that need to be addressed. This is true any time people try to organize something on a grand scale, but it is particularly important, and can be particularly difficult in the case of education, because it involves dealing with a huge number of children.

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The first goal of any educational system should be to teach children. That much should be obvious, but it is worth stating outright just so that we are all on the same page. The second goal, which is more of a necessary evil than anything, is to find out how well the first goal is working out. In other words, if you are going to spend a lot of time and money trying to get kids educated, it is worth it to spend some more time and money making sure that those kids are actually learning, so that way you can be sure that you are not wasting resources pursuing your first goal in an inefficient and ineffective way.

One of the ways that we try to make sure that students are learning as much as they should be learning is by evaluating them by means of standardized tests. Creating a standardized tests is a very difficult undertaking, because you are trying to make an important decision about a huge number of kids in an efficient way. Obviously you want to make the right decision, but no one has the time and resources to sit down with each child individually and decide whether or not they have absorbed whichever materials they needed to absorb, or developed whichever skills they needed to develop.

You can make the arguments that standardized tests are not well designed, or that too much hinges on a child’s performance on one given day, but the fact that they are necessary is hard to doubt. How do we know how well kids are doing in school unless we test them? We must simply make sure that we design an execute these tests in the fairest, most effective way possible. That way, we can be sure that kids are getting the education that they need without making any rash or uninformed determinations about their futures.

By rahul