Standardised testing has been a staple in the education system for decades. They have helped to give students and parents a way to measure progress, but recent research is showing that while they are good at measuring grades, they don’t do as well when it comes to measuring potential.
This article will explore four ways standardised testing overlooks potential:
1. Standardised tests are good at measuring grades, but not potential
Standardised tests are good at measuring grades, but they don’t do as well when it comes to measuring potential.
This is because standardised testing measures an area of knowledge and not the student’s ability to think critically or creatively. This becomes problematic because a lot of jobs require higher-level thinking skills which standardised testing does not measure.
2. Standardised tests don’t measure critical thinking skills or problem-solving skills
Standardised tests can’t test how well students will be able to solve the problems that they are likely to encounter in life. They also don’t measure critical thinking skills, which is a key part of success and happiness at school and beyond. Critical thinking skills are those that help someone to recognise their own biases, make strong arguments for or against a particular point of view and evaluate the quality of information they have been given.
Standardised tests aren’t an accurate measure of intelligence because it doesn’t take into account how well students can think on their feet, solve problems and use what they already know to figure out something new.
3. Standardised test scores can vary greatly from one classroom to another
Standardised tests are tested within a specific classroom. This can make it difficult to compare scores because different classrooms have students with completely different backgrounds and experiences which lead to drastically different test results.
For example, a student who has little exposure to the English language will have more trouble on an essay test than they would with mathematics. This will affect their score and make it difficult to compare with other students who have had more exposure.
4. The best predictor of success is an individual’s own performance.
Standardised tests are designed to predict performance on the VCE or HSC, not how they will do in college.
The problem with this is that students who perform better than expected may have their ego inflated while those who underperform can develop a sense of fear and insecurity.
There’s no way to know which test score actually reflects the student’s true potential.
And under-performing students are penalized for being unlucky and having a bad day on the test, while high performing students may be rewarded even if they don’t deserve it.
How to fix standardised testing and make it more accurate for all students:
- Allow students to retake the test if they did not perform well on it
- Give more time for the tests so that all students have a fair chance of doing their best
- Use a more diverse range of questions that focus on critical thinking skills
- Include more creativity and innovation in the tests
- Standardise test content so it is fair for all students.
Standardised tests are great at measuring grades, but they don’t measure potential. They also do not assess critical thinking skills or problem-solving abilities. Scores can vary greatly from one classroom to another and as a result, standardised test scores cannot be used reliably for comparison purposes between schools or districts. The best predictor of success is an individual’s own performance on the same assessment over time; this provides a better picture of how well students learn regardless of where they happen to attend school.
Do you think standardised testing should be fixed? Let us know by commenting below!