BY MARY-TATE TEANEY OCTOBER 31, 2014
Each year, students are required to take some sort of test, whether it’s standardized, an EOC or a simple class test. Recently, thousands of students across America took the PSAT which is a standardized test that resembles a condensed SAT and consists of math, critical reading and writing sections.
Not only is content an issue for students, but so is time. The 20-30 minute time periods per section are not the most helpful for all types of students and learning abilities. Some students may have good grades but are not the best test takers. Also, some people struggle with disorders like ADD and ADHD and it is harder for them to focus during standardized testing.
“I thought I did pretty good on the PSAT, except I didn’t have enough time to finish all the problems,” sophomore Tavis Stanley said.
Standardized testing is a controversial topic due to people debating whether it is a necessary part of a high school students’ education.
“PSAT scores can even indicate which AP courses students are likely to be successful in,” science teacher Heather Smith said. “I wish our school and students used that data more effectively to identify students who may have never considered taking an AP and point them in the direction.”
Some students felt like they could’ve been better prepared for the PSAT and felt that the small packet given in advisory classes was not enough information. They also didn’t feel prepared for the ACT Plan that occurred last week and didn’t even know they had to take it.
“I think the PSAT would have been helpful if we really knew what was going on,” sophomore Erica Latham said. “I felt like we were kind of blindly led into the test and had little knowledge of what was going on.”
Everyone has different opinions about standardized testing. Some think it is too long or short, some think it is too hard or easy and some think it is worthless all together, but this does not change the fact that students are required to take it.
“Students and teachers should be aware of where they stand compared to their peers. It is good to know if goals are being met,” Smith said. “Tests, such as the PSAT and PLAN, can help students identify strengths and weaknesses that need to be addressed.”
Standardized testing might be time-consuming and not everyones’ favorite thing, but the goal of standardized testing is to help the students, not burden them. These tests fit some students learning styles perfectly, but some students find these tests much more difficult than others.
“Some students have different ways of learning and different testing styles that the standardized tests do not compliment,” Latham said
There are pros and cons to standardized testing and and it is hard for many to agree on what to do about it. However, for now, students must prepare for it to the best of their abilities and hope their scores are high.