Do Colleges Put Too Much Stock into Standardized Test?

Table of Content

Topic: Do colleges put too much stock into standardized test Many students have the desire to succeed when taking college entrance tests, but some students have been proven as bad test takers which means they understand the concepts but are not able to put them on paper. Colleges should not deny prospective students just because their test scores are not as high as the next students; colleges should realize that students are more than just a standardized test score. Tests cannot predict how successful a student will be, and the results are not really standardized since these tests can be learned through paid practices. As many hundreds of thousands of students apply to schools many students are faced with worrying about if they will be accepted based off of the score that they have received on their college test score.

Many students know that colleges place so much stock into these standardized test scores. Studies have shown that not all students are able to perform well on these test, standardized test cannot predict how prosperous a student will be (Prince). It has been proven that most students have problems with test anxiety which prohibits students from performing well on test (Kohn). Test anxiety is not an uncommon thing for students to feel when preparing to take a test. Often times many students tend to freeze up on test when they know that they will be punished in some sorts if they score low on the test ( Haladyna). Knowing that your future relies on how well students perform on this test can cause many students to suffer from test anxiety (Prince). One of the most devastating effects of important standardized test is the emotional effects that it has on students. After doing poor on a test students become less motivated which in return leads them to give less efforts on learning (Haladyna).

This essay could be plagiarized. Get your custom essay
“Dirty Pretty Things” Acts of Desperation: The State of Being Desperate
128 writers

ready to help you now

Get original paper

Without paying upfront

Many colleges make standardized test a major part of their acceptance decision but that does not make the students who they are as whole. ‘Studies have shown that students who do not take standardized test are excellent college students, that standardized testing ignores high school grades and that these test cannot predict college readiness” (Wing). Studies show that students who had not presented their test scores performed almost identically to those who had (Wing). Students all throughout high school work hard to keep their grade point average at a high level, they become involved in numerous extracurricular activities, and even obtain leadership positions (Prince).

However, they may lack in that one important area (Prince). Many students are not capable to take and score well on a standardized test (Prince). Standardized test becomes an issue when they can possibly decide their fate (Kohn). There is no test that can decide whether a student is ready for college or if that student will be effective once he gets there (Prince). “For decades critics have complained that standardized test are unfair because questions require a set of knowledge and skills more likely to be possessed by children from a privileged background” (Kohn). Because most standardized test are norm-referenced meaning that students are compared against students who have already taken the same test, this means that only a percentage of students can perform at the highest level(Hayldna). Test creators purposefully put items on a test that will create a score spread instead of items can actually or should be taught (Popham). Items that a lot of students tend to get correct does not lead to a score spread so those type of questions are not put on the test, but these tend to be the questions that teachers cover (Popham).

Most standardized test is made so that only half of the students taking the test is successful in answering them correctly (Lin). Many students argue that standardized test only appeals to the Caucasians and Asians. “Standardized tests are biased in favor of those whose culture and upbringing most closely resemble that of the test makers-typically, white middle-class males who live in metropolitan areas. Or in other words, such tests are typically biased against females, children of color, children from lower socio-economic backgrounds, and children who live in rural areas” (Weaver). Many standardized test tend to focus on what students do not know and what students cannot do. At the same time they do not tell us what students really need to know in order to progress through college (Weaver). Standardized tests are also often biased against students from poorer socio-economic backgrounds.

“They may not have been exposed to these kinds of tests before or they may not be familiar with the aspects of a question. For example, a question asking about the nature of fresh-cut apples to brown in the presence of oxygen may be biased against a poorer student because their parents couldn’t afford to buy a lot of fresh apples. Examples like these are extreme, but bias against students from different socio-economic backgrounds is a reality” (Lin). Making great grades during four years of high school with a well-rounded mix of extracurricular activities, leadership roles, and a desire to learn are far much more important than a score on a four hour test (Prince). One of the biggest challenges students face is worrying about scoring high on a standardized tests, such as the ACT and the SAT. These tests only show what the students either know or have learned through paid practices such as; ACT books and workshops. When the stakes rise, people look for help anywhere they can find it, and companies eager to gain from this desperation by selling test prep materials. This causes many students to learn how to manipulate and find ways to get around these tests. Studies show that test was very imprecise when measuring how students will perform on in college (Wing).

Capstone research paper

Works Cited

Haladyna, T. M. (2002). Essentials of Standardized Achievement Testing. Validity and Accountability. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Lin, Qiuyun. (2002). Beyond Standardization: Testing and Assessment in Standards-Based Reform. Action in Teacher Education Popham, W. J. (Feb. 2002). Right Task, Wrong Tool. American School Board Journal, 189 (2), 19-22. Weaver, C. (1990). Understanding whole language: From principles to practice. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Wing, Justin. “Our Turn: Do Colleges Put Too Much Stock in Standardized Test Scores? |” Michigan Local News, Breaking News, Sports & Weather – Web. 21 Nov. 2011.

Cite this page

Do Colleges Put Too Much Stock into Standardized Test?. (2016, May 22). Retrieved from

Remember! This essay was written by a student

You can get a custom paper by one of our expert writers

Order custom paper Without paying upfront