The Instigator
HSamei1999
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
traylzac
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Standardized Tests are Ideal for College Admission

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/30/2016 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 461 times Debate No: 85800
Debate Rounds (3)
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HSamei1999

Pro

The proposition is that Standardized Tests, such as the SAT and ACT, are ideal for the college admission processes. I will argue in favor of this proposition.

Layout:
1. Only accepting debate, and defining terms.
2. Opening Arguments & Rebuttals
3. Final Rebuttals

With that out of the way, I would like to define ideal as the best or most advantageous [1]. This will not be to only one aspect such as thoroughness, or practicality, or any other single aspect but the overall of all aspects presented. And as for standardized tests, that is a test that is the same for all test takers, allowing for comparision of each individual's results to that of others [2].

Sources:
1. http://dictionary.reference.com...;
2. http://edglossary.org...;
traylzac

Con

Standardized testing is not ideal for college admission.
Debate Round No. 1
HSamei1999

Pro

So first I'd like to lay out my main arguments: [some form 1]

1. Uniformity
2. Fairness
3. Direction / Guidance

One thing that I would like to clarify before establishing my points is that I do not claim that standardized test are the best in each of those sub categories. I claim that they are the best overall option, and choose to emphasise these aspects if Con chooses not to prove some other aspect of greater value. He would also have to provide a way to achieve it, and if it wasn't obvious it has to be something achievable as observing the life of each applicant from birth to admission is a practical impossibility even though it would provide maximum accuracy or etcetra.


For my first point, Standardized Tests provide a level field for all test takers. Developing on the definition I provided earlier, standardized tests are the same for all test takers [2]. This provides a level playing field for all students as it does not change depending on who is taking the test, or where they are, or even how they are. Not using standardized tests would mean that the students are less aware of what they are going to face, and so unable to prepare or feel secure. Having tests that are not standardized would not only make it unpredictable and difficult for students to prepare for these important tests, but also permit inconsistencies that would make it easier for some students, while it is much harder to others.

Let me provide a picture of how a lack of uniformity would be detrimental to an average american high school senior. According to Collegeboard, the leading source of collegebound seniors, seniors should apply to about 5 - 8 colleges [3]. Now, let's say each college had their own exams built to their specific interests. I do not deny that this would provide more useful information to the college, but what I do have a problem with is that this will take too much time and effort from the individual student. If the student truly aspires to do something beyond mediocre, he will have to prepare for each individual test so that he may have a good application to each college. This takes a lot of time and effort, and adds a lot more stress to the students who already have to deal with their regular studies. An average high school student has about an hour of homework everyday [4], but this is not accounting for the extracirricular, college classes, sports or other things that students have obligations to. This press release provides support to my claim that most students are involved in extracirrular activites that take even more of their already limited effort and time [5]. In light of this, students would have to study for school, complete their extracirriculor activities, complete their homework, and get adequate rest, before they can start studying for these Standardized tests. That is why a uniform test is better for them, as they do not need to scrutinize different material for each test, but just the general for the general standardized.


My Second point is that is is fair. Any other form of non standardized anything will cause inequalities making it easier for some students, while harder for others. This would be like one student recieving 1 + 1, while you are given the question to determine the square root of 49. The problems would be of different levels inevitably and therefore you might just be getting things harder than they should be, while others have it easier. My solution of standardized tests solves this as all students will have the same questions and therefore no student has an advantage over another as they are all presented the same material and asked the same questions. This will make the standard more stable and hence allow you to objectively compare one students result to another with minimal bias. anything non standardized falls to this criticism. Basing this claim off of the very definition of standardized tests [2], as all students recieve the same questions so that their results may be compared with one another, standardized provide a fair method for college admission.

My third point is that a standardized test provided guidance. It tells people exactly what they need to study for and therefore allows them to prepare for the test. This allows for the students to get ready and so their results reflect the effort they put in. This goes back again to the stable nature of standardized tests. My second and third point are closelt related but they are two different aspects of the standardized test's stable nature. This point goes back to the point made by the business of high school students as a test that provides guidance will make it easier for the already busy students to study and prepare for them.


(Just making sure to clarify, but just to say Standardized tests are inadequate is not enough to win Con the debate, but Con still has to provide a better alternative which is better than my proposition)

Sources:
1. http://apecsec.org...
2. http://edglossary.org...;
3. https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org...;
4. http://www.theatlantic.com...
5. http://www.publicagenda.org...;
traylzac

Con

Standardized Testing is not the best option because they need to be adaptive to a student. Many students are not testing people yet have been proven to be college students. I have a personal experience where a friend of mine got a 19 on the Act, and because of that, got accepted only to Miami Dade College. After having struggled in high school and receiving a 2.004, she was told by her guidance counselor that McDonald's manager was a perfect job that would make her plenty of money and a decent healthcare plan. When she entered her 1st year of college, she quit McDonald's in a risk to have a better future. Because of her hard work, she has a 3.402 GPA and has passed every test, with no lower than a B on any midterm and all A on final tests, except on her English 101 and 102 test that she got C's on because of her mild dyslexia. She is now in her 5 year of college at FIU going for her masters in Psychology.
-Danna P. (Close-Friend and the one that broke the system)

This is just one of 5 experiences I have that show how unreliable the ACT and SAT tests are. (Other ones are mine, my mom's, my girlfriends, and best friend's mom)

Besides the tests themselves, the two tests have changed the type of education that our children our currently being taught. Because the schools are being pushed to have as many high school to college students. This is explicitly said by the Secretary of Education. This is good, but because of the way college acceptance relies on these tests, teachers are forced to change from more interactive and all-encompassing education, to focusing on certain aspects of a subject and take away from what could help those with futures in labor jobs and need more interactive and on the job training rather than intense in class room lectures.

http://www.ed.gov...
Debate Round No. 2
HSamei1999

Pro

One thing that Con has failed to do is provide any solution to this problem of college admission. If you recall, I said, "... I do not claim that standardized test are the best in each of those sub categories. I claim that they are the best overall option..." I know that standardized tests are not adaptive to students. This would be contrary to the core values I proposed of uniformity, fairness, and direction. Since this is the only argument you have provided thus far, so I will respond to it.

Before I do so, I would like to address some light on your evidence. I understand that some potentially good students are going to be condoned, but my argument is that this will be minimal and they are not completely hopeless. In your example, I would like to point out that your friend did not get admitted to better universities because she had not shown the ability to do so at that time. This would be dumb for a college to invest in her at that point because for all they knew, she did not have the potential. What I will say is that there has had to be a drastic change in her life because no student having a 2.004 GPA would go to a 3.402 in a higher level of education without effort. I would say, and con can correct me if I'm wrong, but she under went a change which was not evident from the way she had done before, or she did on the test. She went on to do well in college because she changed her ways, and from the looks of it, has gone to do more and now goes to FIU. She had shown her potential with a high GPA and her desire for better and hence that is what the college could use as an indication of success. These were of course not available before she began college so any college admitting her would be taking a gamble, which is not the wisest thing to do.

One criticism I have is that the diversity of your data is extremely low. They are all about people close to you so that provides a very biased set of information. And then regarding your comment saying that the tests need to adapt to the individual. Have you considered how this would make it unfair for students as the test is different for everyone. The reason that I had proposed a standardized test, was so that it would be practical, uniform and fair. I understand your desire to be tailored to each individual's ability, but then could we compare to others any more? The purpose for this is to help college admission, and if we tailored to everyone's needs then we couldn't compare them anymore because each test is so different from the other. Con is being naive proposing a more adaptive test as this would not be of use to college admission anymore as they do not know how the applicants compare to each other. What you would get is each applicant doing good as the test is suited to their needs, so it's great if you want to make the students happy, but our goal is to find good potential students for college efficiently, and adaptive tests cannot suffice.

Con claimed that the tests are already unreliable, using himself and people he knew as an example, but his alternative of subjecting it to each individual will only make this worse and become even more unreliable than it is now. The purpose of the standardized test is to find out who will likely do good in college and find able students, and standardized tests do this better than adaptive ones.

And further, your criticism of the influence of some prevalent standardized tests in the US on the high school education is not anything that is forced to happen. It is something the schools decide to do so that they might better fulfill the purpose that you mentioned. The percentage of students heading to college after high school is 70%, which is beyond just the majority [1]. The people who desire not to go to college are a mere 30% and so more than most of the students are being aided the way they need it [1]. Then my point is that the topic covered in standardized tests are general topics which will help even people in future labor jobs interact with what is the majority of people, and their potential bosses. Since the majority benefit from this by greatly preparing them for their future education and the minority by conditioning them to be able to interact with them and understand them, Standardized test are providing the guidance and direction that I had established was one of their benefits.

In conclusion, Standardized tests remain the most ideal choice for college admission. Con has not provided any alternative position that is better than standardized testing. The only thing he has alluded to is adaptive tests, but I have said why that is more detrimental than helpful for college admissions. Since the third round is only for rebuttals, unless Con manages to disprove my arguments and refute me to the point where adaptive tests are better, vote PRO



Sources:
1. http://www.usnews.com...
traylzac

Con

I have not been clear with my argument obviously, so I will rephrase it. Instead of a standardized test, we need to have individual college tests for each university and degree program you enter. I don't see how me, wanting to study political science in Florida, and someone who wants to study philosophy in Alaska should have the same test. I propose that a college with should have an entrance exam for each college and/or major degree the college has because you need to be able to see how the classes will be oriented.

Harvard is a very high intense lecture college. Lectures consist of long, drawn out, constant information. Many students can handle this, and it is perfect for many professions and those students have to be able to handle that. But what about those in a degree program that involves more of a hands on teaching style.

There should be a college test for each college so that way they can be more tailored to what the student will have to deal with while in the degree program.

http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org...
Debate Round No. 3
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