Downfalls of Standardized Testing

Standardized Testing and Its Flaws
By: Emma Carbery

Standardized testing sets an unrealistic standard in students, and does not accurately measure the capabilities and intelligence of an individual. This has created a culture where the intelligence of children is judged based on multiple-choice Scantrons, three-minute stretch breaks, and number two pencils.
These tests tell students to apply memorized formulas, search for subjective answers to reading comprehension questions, and define words that they’ll never use in real life. It is very ineffective, rewarding students who are good test takers, and hurting those who think creatively. Even open-ended response questions are often graded by machines only looking for the correct format, grammar, and information. Standardized testing doesn’t measure the knowledge of a student on a particular subject, but instead, their test-taking abilities.
Many may argue that these tests are a way to compare students, but this claim is proven false as every person thinks differently. A student may be a great speaker, but struggle to put their thoughts on paper. This also disregards those who have trouble taking tests. Test-taking anxiety is a widely known problem for many kids, and the nature of standardized testing gives certain people an advantage. It simply just isn’t the answer.
Finland’s education system is a perfect example of a country that cares about its students’ well being rather than a score on a Scantron.
Finland has consistently been ranked number one in education. The reason is simple, they are constantly reforming their system to help their students achieve and flourish. Finland doesn’t have standardized testing. Instead, children are graded on an individual basis and grading system set by their own teacher. This promotes learning to actually comprehend information, rather than cramming just to pass a test. Teachers must have a master’s degree, and they go through a rigorous training system to ensure that they are fit for the job of teaching future generations. This type of system is easy to achieve and beneficial to students’ wellbeing. America should take note of Finland’s success, and begin reform as soon as possible.