Standardized Tests in Today’s Education System

Many students today, struggle with behavioral issues, learning disorders or emotional issues, meaning they are already facing challenges in their behavior patterns. A big issue in my opinion, in today’s schools is recognizing these struggles in students. School’s expect students to all meet a certain standard, and are most likely unwilling to conform to the needs of the students. Even with extra support, such as Therapeutic Staff Supports or specialized classrooms, the goal is to get the child to behave in a way the school seems “fit”, or be able to take tests and exams that meet scores “fit” for the school.

Albert Einstein quoted,  “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”. The test is tree climbing, similar to standardized testing across the board. However, not everyone is able to climb a tree, or may need a different way to get up the tree.

Another issue with these standardized tests, is they don’t test subjects such as music, art, or other specials that can give the students a chance to explore their gifts and talents. That may make them confident enough to perform better in other subjects they may struggle with. However these subjects are becoming non-existent in today’s educational system.

I believe standardized tests should be eliminated, your success should not be determined or predicted by how well you can score on a test. It should be measured by your strengths, your talents, your gifts, and sharpening those things.

I am not against education, I believe education is very important. This is why I am still in school. However, I believe school should focus more on student’s gifts, passions and talents. I believe schools will have a much higher success rates if they do. This gives student’s a chance to express themselves, and also helps build confidence to perform better in other subjects.


  1. Dear Author,

    I agree with you to a certain extent. I love your use of Einstein’s quote here because it’s the same thought that I have when I think of how standardized tests are executed and the results that end up following it. I like to think of some big names in test preparation and ultimately Kaplan Test Prep is a company that immediately comes to mind. I always remind myself of the fact that this company has specific courses that train and teach you how to take a standardized test so that you can ace it. Rather than reinforcing and promoting learning and retaining information, students are taking these courses to learn how to take a test! I agree that standardized testing is broken and isn’t truly measuring the intelligence of the student but I do still think that tests should still be administered by schools. I believe that the only way for us to get away from this fear of standardized tests is to learn how to teach different kinds of students and to not make it seem like those that need a different learning style are somehow “less than” the student that’s able to keep up with the conventional style of teaching.

  2. I do agree with your assessment and Albert Einstein’s quotes of “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Honestly, I often ponder if this is what we do to our kids. They are bright, smart, and highly capable individuals. However, their scores on school tests sometimes show otherwise. I fear that receiving low scores on standardize tests enough times could lead to self-handicapping, which is a theory that refers to individuals that create barriers to successful performance before achieving a task (Scheider, Gruman, & Coutts, 2012). As a result, they won’t try hard enough and continue to earn low scores. Furthermore, I’m also concerned about teacher’s expectations. Will low scores of our children lead to teachers continuously expecting less from our children; thus, leading to future low scores in our children’s standardized tests? This theory was tested in the Pygmalion study of Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson (Scheider et al., 2012). In this study, Rosenthal and Jacobson used the deceit approach and told the teachers that some students have above-average academic potential (bloomers) but in actuality they were randomly assigned (Scheider et al., 2012). By the end of the year, the bloomers’ IQ showed a significant increase compared to students in the control group (Scheider et al., 2012). So, I fear that standardized test scores could lead to the teacher’s expectations theory, self-handicapping theory, and ultimately the self-fulfilling theory. I think it is time for our education system to get a makeover. On the surface our education system may not seem to be broken, but it’s breaking our children from within. The expectations is too high and starts at a very young age. It’s a vicious cycle that we desperately need to get our children out of.


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