Do test scores actually indicate your knowledge?

By Katy Granath Posted February 18, 2009

The rise of standardized tests brings with it the rise of more and more students being left behind. After all, if you aren’t above average, if you’re not exceptional, then why would anyone waste the time, spend the money, or expend the energy to help you be more successful if you’re not successful already? The problem really stems from the fact that standardized tests, especially tests from the College Board, don’t truly test your knowledge of a subject so much as they test your knowledge of how to take a test.

With basic test-taking skills just about anyone can get away with a decent score on the PSAT. College Board standardized tests say that if you can’t take their test then you don’t know your subject, which isn’t entirely true. Countless colleges offer full-ride scholarships that cover tuition, room and board, and books and meal costs to students who pass the PSAT with a high score.

The College Board recently announced plans to release a new test for eighth-graders called ReadiStep. College Board says that the scores will only be shared with the students and their school, but what kind of repercussions could follow if a student doesn’t score well on this test? Already students are denied admissions to colleges on the basis of standardized test scores alone. Could high schools offer higher quality classes only to students who score well on the ReadiStep test? Could students who score poorly be shunted into lower-level classes for kids labeled as low scorers?

Enough pressure is placed on high school students to achieve high scores on a test that can determine whether or not they will be able to continue their education at a higher level. Eighth-graders should not be subjected to unnecessary stress and anxiety over a standardized test.

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