What Is Standardized Testing?

Table of Contents

    As students progress through grades and levels in school, their teachers need to monitor the progress. The best way for teachers and schools to assess students is to apply standardized testing. The following sections will analyze standardized testing and help you make the right call when deciding whether your child or students should go through it.

    What Is Standardized Testing?

    Educators have always sought to measure students’ school performance, which led to the introduction of standardized tests. But few people know what are standardized tests.

    Standardized tests are quizzes that require everyone taking them to answer the same set of questions, provide the same kind of answers, and be graded by the same metrics. Educators then gauge the results according to national or state standards to see how well a school is doing by analyzing their students’ performance.

    Since every student, irrespective of their school, takes the same tests, educators use the same yardstick to grade them regardless of a person’s learning challenges. Unlike class assignments that are based on specific subjects, standardized tests cover numerous concepts.

    Key Features of Standardized Testing

    The distinct characteristics of standardized testing include:

    1. Uniformity: All students are given the same test under similar conditions, thus ensuring fair competition.
    2. Scoring: Tests are scored in a standardized, or consistent, manner, which allows for fair comparisons.
    3. Performance Reference: These tests allow comparison of an individual student’s performance to the overall performance of a group of students.

    Types of Standardized Tests

    1. Achievement Tests: These assess a student’s understanding of a specific set of skills or knowledge at a particular grade level. An example is the SAT or ACT test taken by high school students.

    2. Aptitude Tests: Aptitude tests like the IQ test attempt to measure intellectual potential, rather than existing knowledge or skills.

    The Role of Standardized Testing in Education

    Standardized testing is a useful tool that allows schools to:

    • Assess the performance of their students
    • Monitor student progress over time
    • Identify areas that need improvement for both individuals and the school as a whole
    • Meet state or federal accountability requirements

    But how does this relate to your child’s education?

    Standardized Testing and Your Child’s Learning Journey

    Your child’s standardized test scores provide a snapshot of their understanding of specific subjects at a given point in time. It can highlight their strengths and areas that need additional focus.

    However, it’s important to remember that these tests are just one tool in a much larger educational toolkit. They do not define your child’s total academic capability or potential.

    Pros and Cons of Standardized Testing

    Standardized testing has raised a lot of debate. Some believe it is a proper method to test the knowledge of students and the effectiveness of teaching methods, while others disagree. So, after answering the question ‘What is standardized testing?’, it makes sense to identify the pros and cons of standardized testing.

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    Pros of standardized testing

    It is a metric for measuring academic results.

    Schools are training kids to compete at the world level, which requires a reliable curriculum. They can use standardized testing to check and ascertain the quality of their curriculum and see what can and should be changed. Without metrics that rate schools against students of other schools, educational institutions may not know where they are failing regarding the curriculum.

    It shows students’ areas for improvement.

    When schools see where students fail more frequently, they know the areas where to improve as educators. Without these tests, students may keep advancing from grade to grade without dealing with core studying issues.

    It helps schools evaluate progress.

    Schools need to know how they are progressing and what is driving that progress. Every institution must be able to evaluate and monitor its success based on some benchmark. Standardized testing is the metric by which schools can evaluate their progress.

    But it’s not all roses. There are disadvantages of standardized testing for you and your child which you must consider. Let us look at these cons.

    Cons of standardized testing

    The results may affect students’ confidence.

    Standardized tests are measured against the overall performance of everyone who took that test. Low test scores may affect a child’s confidence badly and push them towards low self-esteem and a feeling of not being good enough. Because it is rooted in comparison, some students may begin to feel unintelligent in their peer group.

    Schools base their curriculum on the test.

    Kids can theoretically learn a lot in schools; however, because schools want to pass these tests as a unit, they are forced to base their curriculum on the tests. As a result, students miss out on diverse knowledge because it seems their entire curriculum is designed with the aim to pass the tests.

    The tests are not an actual reflection of students’ abilities.

    There is so much more to a child than their ability to get a high score on standardized tests, but teachers and parents often fail to see this. As the system pushes kids to pass these tests, it sometimes ignores every other thing that kids may be doing well.

    Though the arguments against standardized testing do not invalidate its importance in a child’s educational growth, it is essential to know them. Having analyzed the standardized testing pros and cons, let us learn why the system was created.

    standardized testing

    The Aim of Standardized Testing

    The main aim of standardized testing is to give teachers, institutions, and governing bodies an unbiased review of the educational system. It also helps educators know the individual strengths and weaknesses of the students in their institution. Schools can now measure their students’ performance against the performance of students from other schools and see where they are lacking.

    The overall aim of standardized testing is to improve the country’s educational system. The knowledge on the tests’ results allows teachers to meet students’ needs instead of judging them as a unit. Without these tests, it will be difficult for schools to get an objective perspective on their teaching methods.

    How to Prepare for Standardized Testing

    Preparation for standardized testing can take a toll on both parents and teachers, so here is the  list of how to prepare to make the process easier for you and your kids.

    Promote habits that are good for the brain.

    When you work on developing kids’ mental capacity, you can increase their chances of passing these tests. Pay attention to a child’s nutrition, sleeping habits, and social life as these factors affect their brain health.

    Encourage kids to study.

    It is a no-brainer; every kid must study to pass a test. The more students focus on studying and reviewing past test questions and answers, the higher their chances of passing the tests.

    Help kids understand what to expect.

    The existence of areas of concentration eliminates the chance of a wild-goose-chase approach to studying. Kids should know where to focus their studying efforts, so ask their teachers for help.

    Let a kid take practice tests.

    The more kids practice, the easier they will pass the tests when encountering them. Practice tests prepare students for the main thing. They also acclimate students to the pressure of writing a timed test.

    You can always find alternatives to standardized testing, but if you want to help your child prepare for the standard tests, this list will help you. Also, if your child studies from home, they can go through standardized testing for homeschoolers.

    To help your child get ready for standardized tests, sign them up on Brighterly, a platform that helps kids improve their common core math knowledge. Math is an integral part of standardized testing, and the better kids get at it, the easier they will get through the test questions. So, register with Brighterly to help your kids scale through standardized testing.

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    Despite the pushback, the practice of standardized testing has not stopped. There are benefits your child may gain from engaging in these tests. These benefits should help you realize why you should work on helping your child get better at passing standardized tests. Feel free to use the suggestions in this article to prepare kids for the important step in their educational journey. There are several tactics to prepare children to become math aware, but because modern children have so much technology at their disposal, it would be excellent to utilize some mobile app or even discover ways to educate your children to make them themselves, of course you need to get more info on this.

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