Are Standardized Tests Actually Important?

In high school, I was never a good test taker. When it came to the SATs, anxiety would overcome my body, I would be frozen and unable to complete the test. However, after seeking a tutor/ advisor in hopes to squander this fear of tests, I soon realized many people have this fear as well.

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-2-07-51-pmAs I got older, my hatred for these standardized tests have grown. I grew up with a dad who was never a good test taker, went to 2 years of college and yet, he now is one of the most successful entrepreneurs. He has always instilled in me that education is very important, however it is also about your people skills, persistence, and networking skills. I couldn’t agree with this more and I found that a lot of other people also agreed. But, I couldn’t understand why these tests still held so much weight. There’s so much pressure to do well on one test. One test filled with useless knowledge. All of this inspired me to beg the question: Are Standardized Tests Actually Important?


Upon researching, I came across this article from 2000, I know that was long ago, but it mentions points that are relevant. I think that all of these facts are something to consider and I personally agree with these facts because I’ve witnessed it. 


In another article highlighting the education system world rankings, the U.S. comes in at #29 out of 76.


After reading about the top ranking countries such as South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Finland, it seems that their common thread of success is teaching kids to work hard through project based learning and outside of the classroom experience. Finland, for example, teaches their children through shorter schools day which enables them to learn real-life education and learn beyond the classroom. This seems to working for the top countries, so maybe the U.S. will soon take the hint…

Although this blog is primarily analyzing standardized test scores I thought I’d share this intriguing and thought-provoking video. screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-2-24-19-pmI know it is lengthy, however it is worth the watch.




All this aside, I understand that we need a baseline tests because there are too many people in the world striving for the same goal, however they are not the most important. I think the takeaway for this blog post would be that a healthy concern for your education and grades is important, but to realize that tests aren’t everything and sometimes people skills can take you farther than scores.

That being said, I stand by my philosophy of “It’s not about the grades you make it’s about the hands you shake.”


2 thoughts on “Are Standardized Tests Actually Important?

  1. Luyi Yao

    This topic just immediately draw my eyes! I comes from China. In Chinese educational system, the most important standard to asses a student’s ability is standardized test. There is only one way to applying to universities in China, that students have to take China’s College Entrance Examination (students have only one attempt). Many students are too nervous to do exam well. Also, I’m pretty agree with your opinion. Standardized tests are relatively fairest. Test scores are not affected by family background, financial conditions and so on. But I wish that standardized tests won’t be the most important part to asses someone.

  2. Jarrod T Skole

    Great article Natalie. I actually wrote a paper on how standardized testing is horrible way to judge a students knowledge last year. There are many third variable at play when students take a test. Some have anxiety when taking test, others might not have the money to buy the best tutor for the SAT, and some people have mental disabilities that limit how fast they can read something. Standardized testing may look good on paper, but it is not a real life like test that benefits students. I wish there were other test that could measure how much a student knows about real life and practical things rather than some old formula that on one ever uses. This website gives some great reasons why standardized testing is pointless.

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