For many students standardized testing has become the expected norm when it comes to exam week, but is it doing more harm than good?
There are many pros and cons of standardized testing, a legitimate point as to why its not always fair takes form in special needs or non-English speaking students. Australia is a very multi-cultural country, so it shouldn’t come as a shock that English isn’t every students first language.
Between 1990 and 2003 the number of foreign students enrolled in Australian education institutions rose from 24,998 to 210,397. For such a high number of foreign students in places like university, where standardized testing is the most commonly run test, they will struggle to cope as standardized tests require all test takers to answer the same set of questions. So, students with a lack of English skills must answer the same questions as somebody with the polar opposite skillset, with no exceptions.
The stress that is put on young students is outrageous, particularly junior high school students, where standardized testing overrules. In order to understand how stress can be very detrimental to the mind of a young person, it is important to have some understanding of what happens to the body when the brain triggers a stress response. It is equally important to bear in mind that full maturation of the brain does not happen until the third decade of life. As the developing brain is far more sensitive to the chemical processes involved while mediating a stressful event. In the minds of teens, grades play such an important role. Our grades affect our future and for many that’s a very daunting statement, so the fact that every student must answer the same set of questions, no matter how disadvantaged compared to others in their class, is not only unfair but deteriorating to some student’s future.
Should standardized testing be abolished? In the sense that its not only unfair but unchangeable is ridiculous, specialised tests should be made for non-English speaking students and special needs students. Less stress should be put on such young minds as children as young as twelve should not have to worry about their future at such a young age.