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Merits of standardized testing

Pem
Posts: 15
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11/7/2010 5:47:17 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Personally, I disagree with standardized testing. It doesn't test one's knowledge or ability to synthesize new ideas. What it merely does is encourage people to memorize just the material needed for the exam.

It encourages teachers to basically teach the exam and for students to learn the exam. A brilliant student may never succeed at a standardized exam if it does not interest them. A teacher may forgo actually educating students so that their exam scores can make the teacher look good.

The pros of this process is that it is easy to mark and make calls about the students merits. Even if the only merit truly being tested is the ability to preform under the set conditions of the exam itself.

What do you think about standardized exams? Should they be left as is? Should the be abandoned or perhaps changed?
bluesteel
Posts: 12,301
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11/7/2010 6:21:23 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/7/2010 5:47:17 PM, Pem wrote:
Personally, I disagree with standardized testing. It doesn't test one's knowledge or ability to synthesize new ideas. What it merely does is encourage people to memorize just the material needed for the exam.

It encourages teachers to basically teach the exam and for students to learn the exam. A brilliant student may never succeed at a standardized exam if it does not interest them. A teacher may forgo actually educating students so that their exam scores can make the teacher look good.

The pros of this process is that it is easy to mark and make calls about the students merits. Even if the only merit truly being tested is the ability to preform under the set conditions of the exam itself.

What do you think about standardized exams? Should they be left as is? Should the be abandoned or perhaps changed?

How can you memorize how to do addition? Just because "2+2" was on the practice test doesn't mean you'll get that exact question on the real test. You have to actually learn the skill, since the questions will be chosen at random.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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11/8/2010 7:33:53 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
This is a rant to a generic population, not aimed at anyone in particular:

There are bare minimums necessary for a student to be considered competent. I'm sick and fu-king tired of people who keep asserting that we need to educate children in a way catered to their own style. Guess what? Your kid isn't all that special. In order to be remotely useful to society, your kid needs to be able to do things like sit in a classroom against his wishes, do homework when he thinks it's unnecessary, and learn how to prepare for a standardized exam. Is this testing his intellectual ability? Maybe not. But these are basic skills that your kid needs to be considered something above retarded.

Standardized testing is the easiest way to weed out the burger flippers and janitors. It measures how hard they can work, how well they resist their own pride and ego, how well they respond to authority, and how well they adapt to cognitive tasks. Will a standardized test tell apart the geniuses from the norm? Yes, but with a moderate degree of error. What it is most efficient in is weeding out the *really* stupid kids. The ones who really won't make a big impact in society, but will keep the economy running.

This is why all the best universities and why almost all jobs require an interview. Once standardized tests have established that your kid is not an intellectual failure, interviews can be used to set him apart from the kids who only know how to study for tests. That's when innovation, charisma, and leadership come into play.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
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Pem
Posts: 15
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11/9/2010 8:47:04 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
How can you memorize how to do addition? Just because "2+2" was on the practice test doesn't mean you'll get that exact question on the real test. You have to actually learn the skill, since the questions will be chosen at random.

Oddly enough you can memorize these things. As children we were taught both addition tables and multiplication tables. We were then taught how to make use of these resources.

We are taught methods of adding together numbers or multiplying numbers. In computing we refer to these as algorithms. These processes are also addressed in number theory. We are taught how to add and multiple and subtract and divide in school. No one ever explains why though. In fact only university did I even think of these things. High School prepared me for examinations, but certainly not how to think.

This may have been a slight tangent but I hope the message still stands.
siriously
Posts: 4
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1/25/2011 7:54:11 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I think that standardized tests are great things. They give teachers an idea of a student's aptitude for different areas of study, test critical thinking, and can provide tons of data on where student's are academically. However, I think they are being abused under No Child Left Behind. The idea that schools who meet standards get money, and schools who don't meet standards get restructured and don't get any funding is absurd. Schools that are failing are generally in low income areas, meaning that they get less funding for resources through taxes. With no resources, outdated books, and jacked up buildings, students are less motivated to do their best on classwork and are less prepared to do well on standardized testing.
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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1/25/2011 8:03:54 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I think standardized tests are great, because they weed out people who are fvcking retarded.

Seriously, standardized tests are so bloody easy, they are the only reason I passed high school. It certainly wasn't the homework that I didn't do.

That said, our education system sucks in general because of the fact that it can't teach critical thinking. I don't think you can entirely blame the school system for this though. That is something an individual has to want to do to begin with for it to work.

If you want to learn anything, do it on your own. Forget school, because the only thing it will do is put limits on your potential, and stunt your ability to grow. The majority of the people around you are STUPID. If you want to be a different fish, you've got to swim out of school.
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wjmelements
Posts: 8,206
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1/25/2011 8:04:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/7/2010 5:47:17 PM, Pem wrote:
A teacher may forgo actually educating students so that their exam scores can make the teacher look good.

Then the standardized test isn't set up correctly.

What do you think about standardized exams?

In general, they're great for allowing comparison between students that aren't in he same class/school/country. This comparison is necessary for college and graduate school admissions, as well as in comparison of teaching ability.

Should they be left as is? Should the be abandoned or perhaps changed?

The TAKS test is fine; my only objection is its level of difficulty, but plenty do fail it. It's supposed to be a minimum skills test anyways.
The PSAT was great. My hypothesis is that taking test-taking courses for it doesn't make any significant difference in the testing result, so it's a good test.
I don't remember the SAT. I took it in 7th grade.
I haven't taken the ACT either.
AP World History accurately measures knowledge of history. The only exception is the DBQ, but comprehending and using documents is a crucial history skill.
AP Microeconomics accurately measures knowledge of economics.

So, I don't have any major objections to the standardized tests that I have taken.
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Safia.Abdalla
Posts: 11
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3/2/2011 1:09:24 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Well it depends on how you look at it.

If we are looking at it from the perspective in which school is just a place for children to get ready for the big world then it obviously does not make a difference. If you are not so intelligent, that does not mean you do not have the potential to succeed.

Then of course is the view point that this is for the "education system" to get more funding (and use it for whatever they wish). Then in that case, it would be decently acceptable. As long as a student is going to school they are fine. They do not need a test to tell them that they are not "smart" enough or extremely intelligent.

In the end, it is all education system rubbish.
mongeese
Posts: 5,387
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3/2/2011 7:51:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Anyone who says that standardized testing doesn't measure the ability to think hasn't seen the AP English III test. You really have to think on your feet for that test.
LeafRod
Posts: 1,548
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3/5/2011 3:50:48 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/8/2010 7:33:53 PM, Kleptin wrote:
This is why all the best universities and why almost all jobs require an interview. Once standardized tests have established that your kid is not an intellectual failure, interviews can be used to set him apart from the kids who only know how to study for tests. That's when innovation, charisma, and leadership come into play.

Except that's completely untrue for schools. The interview is pretty much a formality/there to make sure you aren't clinically insane or something.
LeafRod
Posts: 1,548
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3/5/2011 3:52:05 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/25/2011 8:03:54 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
I think standardized tests are great, because they weed out people who are fvcking retarded.

Seriously, standardized tests are so bloody easy, they are the only reason I passed high school. It certainly wasn't the homework that I didn't do.

That said, our education system sucks in general because of the fact that it can't teach critical thinking. I don't think you can entirely blame the school system for this though. That is something an individual has to want to do to begin with for it to work.

If you want to learn anything, do it on your own. Forget school, because the only thing it will do is put limits on your potential, and stunt your ability to grow. The majority of the people around you are STUPID. If you want to be a different fish, you've got to swim out of school.

Congratulations, you are completely indiscernible from 95% of the users on this site, and pretty much all the pseudo-intellectual recesses of the internet.