The Instigator
jadelbrito
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
OpinionatedMan
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Standardized Testing

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/24/2012 Category: Education
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,154 times Debate No: 20619
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
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jadelbrito

Con

Standardized testing has become a big problem among students who are applying for schools. More and more Universities have become too dependent on their scores rather than focusing on the real talents that the student might possess. This amount of pressure not only affects the students application process, but they're wasting their time and money for a mere 4 hours. The stress that standardized testing brings causes them to lose focus on their grades and other important factors. Students must focus on preparing a good application rather than depending on one exam to get accepted into their dream school. It's not fair that a student who works so hard during their four years is suddenly declined because of the scores they received on one exam. That type of result will not only bring their self esteem down, but cause them to doubt themselves as student. Rather than feel confident their last year in high school they feel like all their hard work has been for nothing. It is something that is constantly in the back of their minds from the months of September to January. During that time period what should be on their plate must include their continuation to receiving good grades, and extra curricular activities as well as perfecting their university applications. Having the constant reminder that the SAT or ACT exams are right around the corner , they suddenly become consumed with preparing for them. Their main focus is to be accepted into that one school that will benefit their career in the future. However, with receiving a relatively low score, their chances are suddenly cut off resulting in their non acceptance. There is a good amount of students who are not the best test takers,but excel in other areas regarding the classroom. They are also focused on getting as involved as possible in order to make a good impression on the schools. All of this is suddenly disregarded simply because one exam made the university believe that the student was not capable of doing college level work.
OpinionatedMan

Pro

I would like to begin by congratulating you on understanding the emotions of a high-school student. However, that is where my congratulations end. Standardised (I am a British English speaker so spelling it with an 's' is correct) testing is not a bad thing nor is it any more unfair than work employment, finding a mate or spouse or even partaking in sports. There is no such thing as a fair test of character in life. The test could be argued as one's ability to accept failure and learn rapidly form that failure, therefore the faster one learns from failures the better they are and more successful they will be. However, any other test of character in any department, whether social, emotional, mental or physical will always be deemed unfair by some. The reason is simple to grasp; there is never a fair moment in time where all member of a race or competition are at their full potential.

Standardised tests are necessary for many reasons. The main reason, and the foundation of my argument shall be that without them how is one to determine how successful a student will be in life academically? A university is a place where academics attend and of course they compete to get to the best one there is. Not everyone an win this race and not everyone stands a fair chance. However, without standardised testing how can there even be a chance in the first place? On what basis can a university judge one's capability of entering their institution other than how they achieve in school?

The second point to consider is that universities do not only judge students on academic success. Several students with 3 or 4 A* and even a few students with 6 A* as A-level have been rejected from Oxbridge universities or American equivalents, such as Harvard, Stanford and Yale. Academic success can prove to them that you have the cognitive capability combined with the mental determination to succeed. It can not, however, prove anything in regards to someone's ability at team-work or general dedication to something. That is why awards such as the President's Award and Duke of Edinburgh award were created. They are additional awards with bronze, silver and gold levels that one must complete a skill, a sport and a service for 21 months overall (split into three months for bronze, six for silver and twelve for gold) and makes universities very much favour a student who might be getting AAB grades but does a lot of other work than academics. Team sports, charity work and gaining of skills outside of curriculum by methods such as work experience are all taken into consideration when universities judge their students.

The third and final point I shall raise for this round is that specialised tests are somewhat very accurate in terms of the judgement of one's determination if nothing else. In the end that is a driving factor of one's success in life. The ability to ignore peer pressure, not to be concerned about what the less successful people might do in their spare time or what they think of you and bully you for and to study every day almost just for that taste of success. You are saying that not all students should be put through this stress. The truth is they are not, at least not in western cultures, although it is ironic that the stereotypical Asian child is successful both academically, musically and physically. The point I am raising is that not everyone is forced to succeed. Standardised tests are there for people who want to meet or exceed the 'standard'. One is welcome to partake in the test but it is their decision if they are determined to succeed or not.

In conclusion, standardised tests are a necessity for judging one's cognitive ability and determination but universities do not solely judge prospective student's on this.
Debate Round No. 1
jadelbrito

Con

Although you make very valid points, it still doesn't excuse the fact that standardized testing is a downfall for many students. There are many individuals that dedicate their four years of high school to excelling in more ways than one. Extra curricular activities and grades in general are two of the most important factors in growing as a person. The time that they take to perfect their assignments, tests, and projects all reflect back at the end of their senior year. This along with becoming involved in sports, activities, and clubs, help the students grow in a way that they can adapt to being able to work and communicate with other people. Balancing community service, club organizations, or even a job outside of school as well as maintaining a good grade point average can become extremely difficult which can take a toll on the student. However, they are so focused on getting into the colleges and universities that they dream of, that they will endure any type of work in order to get there. Sacrificing can eventually lead them to success, but that success can sometimes be abruptly taken away due to their scores.
The problem with standardized testing is that it gives the impression to the schools that the student is not capable of getting through college level classes. This all goes back to how there is a negative comparison between students who are not good test takers and those that are. One exam should not factor whether or not the student is going to be able to survive in a higher level education. The majority of the things that are placed on the SAT and ACT exams is material that is rarely spoken about in the typical college class. High school is a place where all students are fortunate to have received the foundations for higher lever classes. As a college student I can admit that I am not the best exam taker, however throughout high school and now I still manage to keep my grade point average at a good level. This is the same case with many of my peers. They have openly admitted to not doing their best on exams, however they walked up to receive their diploma as national honor society members. One's intelligence shouldn't be determined by exams such as the SAT or the ACT, instead it should be looked at as an over all general look at their performance within those four years.
OpinionatedMan

Pro

It seems that the sole focus, and only point, of your entire debate is that there is insufficient reasoning to correlate a student's intelligence or success in life based on an exam which they have worked several years for. As the prop for standardised, testing I beg to differ with you. The reason your point fundamentally breaks down into having sympathy for students that must work hard for one test, one moment that determines their future.

My rebuttal to this (only) point that you raise is that it is not a sudden surprise test, for which the student doesn't have a year or at least 3 months preparation for, it is a well-planned test that tests the student's ability to comprehend content of a certain syllabus and intelligently display that in the form of an answer for a specific question. The tests are fair for all.
Debate Round No. 2
jadelbrito

Con

jadelbrito forfeited this round.
OpinionatedMan

Pro

OpinionatedMan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
jadelbrito

Con

jadelbrito forfeited this round.
OpinionatedMan

Pro

OpinionatedMan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
jadelbrito

Con

jadelbrito forfeited this round.
OpinionatedMan

Pro

OpinionatedMan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
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