Standardized testing and quality of learning

Standardized testing and quality of learning

Standardized testing and quality of learning

Standardized testing is the practice of administering uniform examinations to learners. This is a means of gauging the aggregate mastery of concepts studied in a given period in schools. Standardized testing, as a method of examining students, has always elicited critical debates. These debates always attempt to validate the essence of standard testing in evaluating the performance of learners. Such debates center on whether standardized testing really enhances the quality of learning in terms of aspects such as life skills. The disgruntled stakeholders of education question the continued dependence of standard testing as the central form of evaluating students’ abilities. Arguments on either sides of the standardized testing are vital in improving the quality of learning in schools.

Standardized tests ensure the accountability of instructors thereby enabling a platform for excellent performance. Standardized tests eventually encourage learners to internalize class concepts rather than learn by the rote system. The students who engage their efforts in mastering concepts attain the highest rewards because they perform in multiplicity of situations (Blaz, 2013). This helps students in thinking through multiple issues. This is unlike the rote system whereby a student easily forgets the concepts taught in class after examinations. An instructor, therefore, posses a significant role of gearing learners towards critical understanding of given subjects.

Standardized testing helps discover students’ distinct gifts and potential. Standardized testing thrives on the behaviorist school of thought whereby good behavior attains rewards while bad behavior faces punishment. The school system, however, only tests the behavior of a student by engaging one in a test. The consistent evaluation of a student eventually reveals one’s strengths and weaknesses. In turn, educationists can help students in nurturing their gifts and managing their weaknesses. This creates a significant platform for specializing in a field that satisfies one’s interests and abilities. The learning environment provides the empowerment that is critical for undertaking distinct choices in life.

In spite of the argued benefits of standard testing, this form of examination constrains the flexibility of teachers. Certain schools of thought deem standardized testing as an element that considerably demotivates teachers (Ouchi, 2008). In this sense, teachers face the difficulty of handling pertinent subjects. This is because instructors face the pressure of articulating their lessons to grant high examination scores in classrooms. In the end, the system rewards the teachers who accord high aggregate marks rather than those who grant quality-learning experience. In certain cases, standardized tests lack principles that govern the international criteria of administering tests. This increases the vulnerability of exceptional teachers to punishment meted out on low performers. Weak learners also face inadequate incentives for improving their performance.

Without a doubt, the arguments for standardized testing are as vital as the arguments against standardized tests in improving the quality of learning. Standardized tests encourage the accountability of instructors thereby improving performance of students. In such a system, the teachers possess the incentives for committing considerable efforts. This encourages students to master concepts in class in order to perform in multiple situations. An instructor, therefore, has the huge responsibility of helping learners internalize subjects in class. Standardized testing is instrumental in helping students uncover their gifts and talents. This is because standardized evaluation reveals the consistent strengths and weaknesses of a given student. In the end, a student specializes in the subject that synchronizes with one’s strengths and abilities. Standardized testing, however, constrains the flexibility of teachers in handling students and managing the performance in class’ subjects.


Ouchi, W.G. (2008). Making schools work a revolutionary plan to get your children the education. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.

Blaz, D. (2013). Differentiated assessment for middle and high school classrooms. New York, NY: Routledge.