Standardized Tests and Their Effect on the Community

Table of Content

Standardized tests are commonly employed in schools for evaluating intelligence and subject knowledge, with educators and administrators relying on the insights gained from these assessments to pinpoint areas for improvement and excellence. However, numerous students harbor a strong aversion towards test-taking, especially when the outcomes can greatly impact their placement or future accomplishments.

Teachers may have different perspectives on standardized tests. If a student struggles with test-taking but understands the subject, the test results may not truly indicate their knowledge. Students have various approaches to these tests. Some students diligently study to master the material, recognizing the significance of these tests for their academic achievements. Others also study, but their anxiety or fear can hinder their performance on the test.

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The importance of test results goes beyond just performance because many factors, such as preparation, knowledge, test-taking skills, attitude, and stress levels have a significant impact on scores. Standardized testing can occur annually or at certain grade levels or even throughout high school to prepare for college admission.

FCAT is a widely recognized test that requires significant preparation from 3rd, 5th, and 8th-grade students and teachers. It has a crucial impact on determining a student’s advancement to the next grade level. However, despite its importance, students typically have a negative attitude towards this exam as they are aware that performing poorly could result in lower standards or hinder progression in the subsequent year.

Students who move from states or counties that do not use FCAT may face difficulties in meeting the standards of their new state. Adapting to the test content might be challenging for them because the education they received in their previous location could have been at a different level or may not have covered the same curriculum. In high school, SAT and ACT tests are commonly used for college admissions.

The tests have a significant impact on students as they determine their class placements and exemptions from specific college courses. Although crucial, they also induce stress due to the possibility of retaking them and the need for preparation time. The prospect of receiving test results often generates more anxiety among students than the actual test itself.

Individuals without a high school diploma or GED may need to take a college placement test (CPT) to assess their math, reading, and writing abilities. Likewise, IQ tests are used to measure the intelligence quotient of both adults and children, with average scores differing by age group. Those who score below the designated average range are not seen as intellectually capable.

The social stigma associated with IQ tests can diminish an individual’s self-worth and lead to a decline in community respect, thereby diminishing the recognition they would otherwise receive for their work quality and demonstrated knowledge. In addition to job-specific or previous employment experience, many occupations employ IQ tests to assess one’s intellectual capabilities. Furthermore, studies have been conducted linking income levels and test results, which may strike some individuals as punitive since it classifies people based on generalized or average assessments that may not apply to everyone within those groups.

Individuals with white-collar status may be unjustly viewed as having lower IQ scores, despite potentially outscoring the average. This lack of acknowledgement deprives them of the respect they are entitled to. Furthermore, job opportunities and educational requirements in a specific area are influenced by the local community. Over time, IQ and standardized tests have transformed to accommodate changing information, testing techniques, and scoring systems.

Although the tests have been altered, there are still aspects that are occasionally overlooked, such as the influence of culture on intelligence. Certain cultures prioritize trade, the arts, and philosophy rather than solely focusing on academics. Some societies heavily emphasize agriculture or industry and lack exposure to abstract scenarios, puzzle solving, and strategic thinking. This is why these tests can be called into question, as some individuals may not excel in them.

Although students may possess knowledge in subjects such as mathematics, history, and reading, they may lack the ability to effectively reason through complex problem-solving tasks or puzzles. The administration of standardized tests, particularly those consisting of multiple choice questions, affords schools and teachers with prompt feedback regarding their students’ performance in relation to national standards or when compared to other schools within their state. According to “School Reform” (p. 81), standardized multiple choice tests are considered the main tool for measuring student progress.

Schools can identify subject areas that require more academic improvement and instruction. Subsequently, teachers can discover innovative methods to incorporate the necessary content, ultimately enhancing students’ test scores in future assessments. The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation mandates that schools ensure students meet specific testing criteria to demonstrate their proficiency in particular academic fields. This regulation has assisted schools in elevating students to a satisfactory standard before advancing them to the next grade or level of education.

Previously, students who demonstrated lower academic performance were often overlooked by teachers in comparison to those who achieved higher test scores or exhibited a greater level of learning. However, the implementation of the NCLB law altered this dynamic for students with poorer academic abilities. Under this law, all students are required to meet the same academic standards, holding both schools and teachers accountable for achieving this expectation. Consequently, if a school fails to perform adequately despite receiving funds from NCLB, they may be subjected to evaluation and review alongside their teachers.

Students from economically disadvantaged districts may encounter testing difficulties due to limited resources such as insufficient books and teachers, resulting in crowded classrooms. This resource disparity hampers the test preparation of these students, even though they are expected to meet the same standards as their counterparts from other districts.

Students from privileged families, with highly educated parents, and attending well-equipped schools may find many tests easier compared to their counterparts. Conversely, students from single parent households, with less educated parents, and belonging to a lower income bracket often encounter more difficulties during testing. Their community may not value education as much and their school might have lower educational standards. These students are primarily focused on supporting their families and sometimes have to deal with higher crime rates in their vicinity.

Schools and homes may lack technology, hindering students’ access to computers and research materials for educational growth. Moreover, students might face challenges such as limited parental support or time availability for schoolwork. The community’s prioritization of high test scores can also negatively affect students, potentially causing feelings of inadequacy if they fall short of expectations and diverting their attention away from learning.

Students may opt to prioritize their job search rather than continuing their education, and this choice can be influenced by their educational attainment. Similarly, a community might attach importance to low test scores, resulting in a negative perception of students who attain such scores. This circumstance can either inspire students to strive for excellence or cause them to accept below-average scores as the standard. If a student is held back from progressing to the next grade, both peers and teachers perceive them differently.

Despite the dedication of diligent teachers to improve students’ skills, certain students simply go through the motions and are promoted to the next grade without retaining much. As a result, schools encounter a predicament in their endeavor to increase overall test scores: they have to teach multiple subjects and might prioritize test-oriented lessons over nurturing problem-solving abilities and critical thinking in students.

If a school solely focuses on teaching to the tests, students will miss out on a comprehensive education that includes music, the arts, history, and other subjects of interest. Many people question why standardized testing is given such high importance; one perspective suggests that the pressure to achieve high test scores leads to a narrow curriculum (“Standardized Testing,” p. 17). Students can prepare for these tests using drills provided by teachers or computer programs offering subject matter quizzes. While this approach can result in learning, it sometimes encourages students to prioritize memorization over true understanding of the material. Additionally, schools may be evaluated based on test scores alone without reflecting individual student progress; some students may improve while others receive lower scores. By assessing individual scores in a classroom, districts can gauge a teacher’s effectiveness in promoting improvement.

ELL students may encounter challenges on standardized tests due to their language barrier. The majority of ELLs perform worse than native English speakers on these tests, as stated in the article “School Reform” (p. 111). Specifically, the reading and writing sections prove difficult as students struggle to understand the questions and expectations while also facing difficulties in accurately expressing their answers in written English.

When analyzing standardized test results, schools with a significant number of English Language Learners (ELL) may have lower overall scores due to the inclusion of other students who perform well. This is because the performance of these high-performing students gets averaged together with ELL students. The variation among students presents a challenge for schools, as it includes factors such as student transfers from different states or countries, students with disabilities, diverse socioeconomic statuses, varied home situations, and those requiring additional learning support.

All schools, regardless of location, can be affected by different factors that impact test scores. According to “School Reform” (p. 100), specific groups like youth of color, English language learners, individuals with disabilities, or those from low-income families may face unfair denials of diplomas based on their exam performance. Furthermore, teachers often face the challenge of educating students who have different levels of proficiency in reading, writing, and math. This challenge becomes more complex when schools are understaffed or have larger class sizes.

Teachers in schools often provide assistance to students at different levels, such as those with IEPs or enrolled in special programs. This diversity among students poses challenges for teachers aiming to follow a standardized curriculum and fulfill testing obligations. While standardized tests are crucial for assessing students and aiding the school, they can also lead to labeling of students by their peers, school administration, and the community.

It is important for parents to have the ability to evaluate their child’s test scores and determine if they are performing below, at, or above average. This allows parents to actively engage in their child’s academic progress, while also receiving regular updates from teachers. Equally important is for schools and districts to comprehend the assessment criteria in order to accurately assess a student’s learning. If a report indicates that a student is achieving at an average or higher level, it can generally be assumed that the student is excelling.

Setting standards too low in a state can present difficulties for average or above-average children who might relocate to another state. Similarly, if the standards are set too low and a student performs below average, additional efforts would be necessary to improve their performance and prevent further academic setbacks. When evaluating a school’s overall test scores, lower ratings and perceptions of underperformance will stem from low scores.

Having high test scores leads to better school grades and a positive perception of student achievement in the community. According to a source on “School Reform” (p. 87), standardized test scores are commonly used as indicators of a school’s success. When families are moving, they often take into account the school’s grading system to ensure their child attends a highly regarded institution. This raises the question of whether attending a particular school based on residential district automatically results in a lower quality education and lower performance on standardized tests.

When pondering the aforementioned question, there are multiple factors to consider. These factors encompass the student’s drive to learn and excel in school, parental participation, the educational process and teaching methods employed by the school, resource availability, test readiness, socioeconomic status, and community recognition of education’s significance. While all these components contribute to academic performance for both students and schools alike, it ultimately rests on individuals to make decisions regarding their academic achievements and which factors they permit to impact their pursuits.

Although data and statistics may indicate that students from diverse racial backgrounds do not excel on standardized tests, it is worth noting that white students also encounter difficulties. Several reviewed books examine the pros and cons of standardized testing, highlighting their value in assessing academic standards but also acknowledging alternative methods for evaluating a student’s knowledge and comprehension. Often, students face challenges during exams or experience overwhelming pressure.

Both verbal and non-verbal communication between a student and teacher can provide insights into the student’s comprehension of the subject matter and their proficiency in completing various classroom assignments, such as projects or activities. Therefore, it is crucial for both students and schools to have knowledge about and comprehend the material that will be assessed in standardized exams to ensure adequate preparation. In order to identify any potential areas of deficiency, teachers should compare the lesson plan requirements for a specific grade level with the testing criteria.

By administering these tests, teachers can assess areas that may need to be included in lesson plans or given additional focus. This information can be communicated to parents and help students understand which areas will be tested. The results of these tests are based on school curriculum and a student’s existing knowledge. Through conducting this research, I have drawn various conclusions about standardized testing.

Although students may have negative feelings towards testing, I believe that these assessments are crucial in guiding a student’s educational journey. I hold the view that these tests play a significant role in promoting a more universal education system, not confined to particular districts or states. It is important to note that standardized tests should not be the sole determinant of a student’s success or promotion. However, they do provide valuable information about students’ knowledge and progress in relation to the curriculum covered throughout the year.

To level the playing field for all students and respect the socioeconomic differences that greatly impact students and teachers, it is necessary to modify the standardized tests by incorporating cultural influences. This modification takes into account various factors that contribute to the success or failure of a student’s test results. Below are graphs related to the information in the report:

Works Cited

The text mentions two books. One is titled “School Reform” and is edited by N. Berlatsky. The other is titled “Standardized Testing” and is edited by C. Bily. Both books were published in 2011 by Greenhaven Press in Farmington Hills, MI.

Farmington Hills, MI. : Greenhaven Press

Murdoch, S. (2007). IQ: A Smart History of a Failed Idea. Hoboken, NJ. : John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Shiraev, E. , Levy, D. , Miller, B. , Perry, J. , Perry, E. , Kimmel, M. , …Henslin, J. (2011). Looking At Us: An Interdisciplinary Study of the Human Behaviors. Pearson Learning Solutions.
Ludwig, J. (2003). Educational Achievement and Black-White Inequality, Vol. 3, No. 3. Retrieved from
Popham, W. (1999).

According to the article “Why Standardized Tests Don’t Measure Educational Quality” (Vol. 6, No. 6), standardized tests are not a reliable measure of educational quality. The source can be found at’t-Measure-Educational-Quality.aspx.

In another study titled “Poor Results for High Achievers” (Vol. 12, No. 1), Bui, Imberman, and Craig (2012) found that high achieving students often perform poorly on standardized tests. The source of this study is

For more information on intelligence testing, refer to the article by Reynolds (2003-2009) available at

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Standardized Tests and Their Effect on the Community. (2017, Jan 11). Retrieved from

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