Should Standardized Testing Be Required?


Daniel Kang

Despite its simple evaluation of academics, standardized tests do not assess human qualities, which should be a main factor for college admissions.

Daniel Kang, Staff Writer

In order to get into highly selective universities, high school students take advanced classes–honors and AP classes– and are expected to have an outstanding GPA at all times. On top of rigorous classes, students are constantly burdened by standardized testing. Commonly known as Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SATs) and American College Tests (ACT), these standardized tests are necessities when applying for colleges. The score a student receives can either improve or worsen a student’s college application and, subsequently, affect a student’s entire college career. However, there is much more to a student than the scores they receive on a few tests. Standardized testing should not be required due to the tremendous amount of issues it creates in students’ lives. Standardized testing is one of the main factors when selecting college applicants, but applicants should be given the chance to be seen beyond their scores.


According to Washington Post, standardized testing does not accurately assess students of what they have learned. SATs and ACTs only focus on mathematics and English curriculums, and the SAT even leaves out science. Graduation requirements require the students to take a variety of subjects, from art classes to history classes; however, standardized testing does not allow the students to apply knowledge acquired from those subjects and thereby fails to show the student’s full potential and intelligence. For example, according to PBS Social, a student in San Francisco scored 800’s on both the Biology SAT Subject Test and Chemistry SAT Subject Test but only scored a 1250 on the SAT. Not only that, standardized testing creates “test anxiety”, which affects students’ scores dramatically. Test anxiety is a major cause for nervousness in students and worsens a student’s overall grades.


According to The Guardian, standardized testing is used to evaluate teachers’ effectiveness in teaching. When students perform poorly on the SAT or the ACT, it reflects the teachers and the school’s ability to teach. The Obama Administration believes that standardized testing is now used to punish and scold teachers, even though this was never the initial purpose. In New Jersey, an English teacher was fired from her school and was banned from the district, simply because her students performed poorly on the SAT English portion. In fact, some schools are forcing teachers to teach curriculums that students can use in standardized testing. However, these curriculums leave out significant components, such as critical thinking. As seen by evidence, teachers are being fired due to standardized test scores, which is completely unreasonable. Students and teachers are being challenged due to universities’ dependency on standardized test results.


The SAT and ACT should definitely not be enforced. It can be a firm foundation of an application if needed; however, it should not be something that an applicator is mainly evaluated from. In fact, some universities are already cancelling their standardized testing requirements from college applications and are giving students more freedom in how they want to showcase their academic achievements and potential. Hopefully, as time goes on, students will be appraised by human quality and academic work accomplished throughout their four years of high school, rather than a simple test that fails to show even half of a student’s true abilities. Currently, standardized testing is deeply enrooted within our society, and it will take time for the college application process to change. Nevertheless, freeing the standardized testing requirement from college applications could be the final puzzle piece to achieving the masterpiece called student success.