Deficits of Standardized Testing in Learning

Introduction

Human beings have always strived to make their lives better through various means of inventions and innovations. The need to have excellent medical service, infrastructure, electronics and improved agricultural production have led man to continue with his endless journey by getting education that will help him achieve his dreams. Education has always played a key role in ensuring that people achieve their career dreams and accomplish all their wishes.

Learning institutions all over the world have adopted mechanisms for testing and grading students to establish their level of intelligence and academic understanding. This research paper is aimed at pin pointing how standardized testing results to low graduation rates, how high test scores do not mean excellent learning and how ineffective these testing mechanisms are to the process of assessing students’ intelligence.

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Low Graduation Rates

The use of one system of testing in schools has led to very low graduation rates as most students are forced to dropout of schools due to the belief that they are weak in classes. They get discouraged along the process of learning as their mates are praised for high marks while they are rebuked for their inability to get high scores. This makes the weak pupils in school to feel ashamed and develop low self esteem that forces them to dropout of schools.

Those who excel in tests are always motivated by past performance to work extra hard to get good results in other tests while those who fail to meet the set pass marks are discouraged from making any further attempts to perform better and so they get poor grades and continue being ranked poorly in class. Other students are forced to repeat classes or courses that waste a lot of time and leads to fewer students graduating compared to the number of those who registered.

Higher Test Scores and Higher Learning

The overall grade that students get is not always directly proportional to the quality of education offered by many learning institutions in the world. The scores obtained by many students in their tests are usually not a true reflection of their intelligence and knowledge gained from these learning institutions (Dezure 112).

This is due to the fact that the results obtained by students in examinations are usually influenced by many factors that compromise the credibility and reliability of the results obtained. Some of these factors include the student’s ability to learn and grasp the content very fast.

Human beings have different degrees of internalizing and memorizing the information received from the environment and this determines their ability to keep and reproduce such information. In the education sector, students have different abilities of understanding different lessons. In addition, teachers have various ways of teaching which is highly determined by their experience in teaching, qualifications and how they understand the needs of their students.

Students have different levels of interests in different subjects being offered for study in schools and this has a major influence on the outcome of their tests. In other occasions students are influenced by what happens in their families and this determines their concentration in class. Sometimes when students pass through terrifying experiences in their lives like seeing their parents fight or quarrel, they tend to lose concentration in class and this will definitely lower their performance in tests.

Teachers’ Welfare

It has been noted world over that teachers are among the poorly paid in many countries and their welfare has been neglected for very many years. This is due to the fact that most people have been influenced to think that teaching is not a good profession as compared to other professions (McVeigh 23). This has led to the government and all educational stake holders to neglect teachers’ welfare to an extent of compromising their ability to effectively teach the students according to the stipulated curriculum.

Most teachers receive very little money that is not able to cater for the basic needs of their families and this makes their life very complicated. There are other occasions where their families’ financial difficulties are extended to classes and students suffer very much. Whenever the welfare of teachers is compromised their effects will be directly reflected in the way they teach and thus affect the results of the tests done by their students.

Examinations Irregularities

A common saying that ‘necessity is the mother of innovation’ is very much evident through the various ways that students use to get high scores in their tests. Teachers too have assisted many students in getting very high marks through giving them undeserved marks and sometimes giving them prior access to the examination questions and answers (Mizoguchi 57).

While other students struggle to find answers for the questions on the examination papers, others smile their way as they fill the answer sheets with the answers already given to them by their teachers. In other occasions students exchange their answer sheets if the examination supervisors are not very keen on them and this means that there will be unfair grading of these students.

Tests for Students

It has been a common practice in many learning institutions for students to be given the same questions to answer during their continuous assessment tests and in their final examinations (Kennedy 108). This has made many students to be disadvantaged on the basis of being given questions that do not fall on their categories. It is very much advisable that teachers should give students questions that relate to their areas of interest.

They should match the level of intelligence of their students and their level of comprehension to the topics and subjects being taught. There are many occasions that require teachers to be very keen on their students’ levels and abilities of learning. There are some students who have very high ability of comprehending topics being taught and they are referred to as fast learners. These students are able to study on their own and comprehend very complicated topics without the assistance of their teachers and tutors.

On the other hand, some students who are usually the majority can not grasp a concept on their first introduction by the teachers and they ask several questions before they understand the topics. In addition, these students usually have difficult times making personal studies and can not comprehend most topics without the assistance of their teachers. Therefore, examination questions should be set in such a way that the needs and abilities of all students are put into consideration to ensure they get the correct grades.

Repetition of Examination Questions

It has been a very common practice by many learning institutions to use the same questions for assessing their students throughout the years. This practice has made it very easy for millions of students to predict with a high degree of accuracy the type of questions they expect in their coming examinations.

This makes the whole education system to be a game of chance and not a process aimed at giving knowledge and creation of self reliant people in the society (Berraars 27). Those students who are lucky enough to predict the correct questions or topics get an upper hand in getting high grades while those who are not lucky get very poor grades.

The system of recycling the same questions year in year out makes the learning process a cycle that promotes cramming and memorizing by students rather than understanding the necessary concepts being taught in schools. In addition, teachers become too lazy and can not take time to think of how they are going to twist the questions in order to make students think and work out the ways to present their answers.

All learning institutions should always ensure that they adopt learning curriculums that are aimed at educating their students in both theory and practical aspects. They should establish mechanisms that will prevent examination irregularities and cheating. On the other hand, teachers should be motivated to give their best to students while the stakeholders in the education department should ensure the welfare of teachers is well addressed.

Conclusion

Education is the key to good life and everybody should always make sure they aim at achieving the best results that reflects mental development and knowledge acquisition by students.

Parents, teachers and students should always struggle to ensure they use the necessary channels laid in the process of learning as education in itself is valueless without internalization of the necessary concepts. A good grading system for students should have the ability to identify the real weaknesses and strengths of a student through a generally acceptable mechanism.

Works Cited

Berraars, Gerard. Ethics, Education and Development: An Introductory Text for Students. New York: Wadsworth, 2007. Print.

Dezure, Deborah. Learning from Change: Landmarks in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. New York: Cossimo Classics, 2000. Print.

Kennedy, Helga. Research in Science Education: Past, Present and Future. New York: CreateSpace Publishers, 2009. Print.

McVeigh, Brian. Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning. New York: CreateSpace Publishers, 2002. Print.

Mizoguchi, Riichiro. Learning by Effective Utilization of Technologies. New Jersey: Wiley, 2006. Print.

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