The Effects of SAT and ACT Test Scores on Students Too often students find themselves cramming information they should know before taking a test. Initially, they’ll study the information, and mundanely forget it soon after the test. Students often say “getting grades is the most important thing about school” (LeCompte). The more emphasis teachers and parents’ place on performance, the more students become set back by a failure, which makes an even more vigorous point to this argument (Heyman and Dweck).
Thus, creating a fear to fail in which students no longer care about understanding the information. In general, teachers focus more on the significance of passing grades than students learning. What is most compelling is how the education system is bringing into this competitive nature to succeed in a world where a letter grade determines ones ranking in school. With all of in mind test scores are not a precise mark of agility therefore, SAT and ACT testing should be banned.
The Graph above represents data from a poll conducted among 20 students, asking “Should SAT Testing Be Banned? The majority responded with “Yes” at 75 percent, leaving 5 percent with “no”, and 10 percent each for “Maybe” an “I don’t know. The history of standardized testing gives clear evidence on the initial purpose of testing. The earliest record of standardized testing comes from China, where hopefuls for government jobs had to fill out examinations testing their knowledge of Confucian philosophy and poetry. In the Western world, examiners usually favored giving essays, a tradition stemming from the ancient Greeks’ affinity for the Socratic Method.
But as the Industrial Revolution (and the progressive movement of the early 1800s that followed) took school-age kids out of the farms and factories and put them behind desks, standardized xaminations emerged as an easy way to test large numbers of students quickly (Fletcher, para. 2). In ancient Greece, fourth century B. C. , Socrates, a Greek philosopher tested his student’s through conversations (Mathews, Para. 1). Answers were not habituated to keep track of who’s correct and who’s not. It was, however, more so used to engage students in conversation.
Of course, now it’s less about conversation and more about scores of accuracy or inaccuracy. The SAT and ACT, which originally consisted of basic math and vocabulary, now are more intricate and are just a component of the gauntlet of tests students may ace before reaching college (Fletcher, para. 6). “No Child Left Behind Act” was implemented to hold high schools more accountable for student progress. Which meant states must bring all students, including those in special education, up to the “proficient” levels of test or face penalties (Lee).
Eventually, Obama repealed this act, saying “I want this not just because it’s good for the students themselves, the communities involved and it’s good for our economy but because it really goes to the essence of what we are about as Americans,” Obama said at a White House signing ceremony. “There is nothing more essential o living up to the ideals of this nation than to make sure every child is able to live up to their God given potential. ” (Layton, para. 2) after realizing that this cookie cutter way of testing, only lessened a student’s full potential.
All of these examples can lead to one believing that there aren’t any benefits to testing. Testing started as a simple way to strike a conversation and find jobs, now it’s a requirement that some may be able to live up to. Students don’t endeavor to recall the tortuous hours in class, trying to keep their mind awake. Yes, it is evident that school causes an enormous amount of stress and although there is elevance in testing, personal issues and interests should be put more into account. In the car, singing along to the TOP 40 Hits!
Somehow, one can manage to memorize most of the words to the songs. One reason being is, listening to the repetitive beats and musical composition is enjoyable, making people of any age actually want to learn them. The author of “Punished by Rewards” Alfie Kohn, learned from a student sitting in his car one day that “No one promised her an A for learning all those songs, or threatened her with an F for messing up. ” Furthermore, the most reliable guide to a process that is romoting these things is not grades or test scores it is the student’s level of interest (Kohn, 146).
Chris Brewer, founder of Life Sounds Educational Services and author of the new book Soundtracks for Learning, says sounds can help to hold our attention, evoke emotions, and stimulate visual images (Lucas,para. 3) perhaps adding music to the classroom environment can become one solution for standardized testing. First and foremost, this shows that if students don’t need to know the curriculum, they won’t feel the need to memorize the information. Many students feel most of the information learned in school won’t be useful later in life.
In the same way, Linda Darling-Hammond of Standard University stated: “If that information is applied or actually used to solve problems, student will leave school with a much richer education. ” Enter “deeper learning” the process of fusing content knowledge with real-world situations (Tower, para. 2). Adding to the first two examples bringing information that is used in the classroom to real-world situations will give students the reassurance they need when learning.
For example, getting students involved in community activities, using the news, or getting guest speakers to come in and speak on a certain topic, enhances learning ather tedious standardized testing for the ACT and SAT. Students just want to be told what they need to learn to pass the test or what they need to write down to get a good grade on a paper. So much of their schooling has been based on this dysfunctional model, and, therefore, they have forgotten how to be self-direct and genuine learners that they were when they first entered school (Kaufman, para. 3). One might say, even the best students do what they have to do only because they have to do it, and then they put it out of their minds (Kohn, 217). America created standardized test not ecognizing each student has a different mindset. Students, no matter what learning level they are at take similar tests to see if they measure up to what’s “proficent”. The kids that don’t achieve “proficiant levels” always get told to exceed at school before they fail. This system of pass or fail is just used to impress others with intelligence.
The evidence is clear that students overly concerned about their performance come to see learning as a means to an end, the end being the best grade they will receive. They start to think that their performance, especially when they fail, is due to innate intelligence (or its absence): That, n turn, leads them to assume there isn’t much point in trying harder next time, which means they are unlikely to improve. It also leads them to try to avoid difficult tasks so they can escape a negative evaluation. Dweck; Ames; Nicholls) Not only do tests assess the intellectual proficiencies that matter least, however – they also have the potential to alter students’ goals and the way they approach learning. The more you’re led to focus on what you’re going to have to know for a test, the less likely you are to plunge into a story or engage fully with the design of a project or experiment. Intellectual immersion can be all but smothered if those tests are given, or even talked about, frequently. Learning in order to pass a test is qualitatively different from learning for its own sake. Kohn, para. 8)
In short, once students do fail they already have a block in their mind of what they are likely capable of achieving which can hold them back from achieving excellence. Stressful seating arrangements in a classroom can also play a role in the negative effects of standardized testing. It really all depends on the class, but conventionally most students have the option to sit in the back where they’ll have a hard time aying attention or sitting in the front, where all the expected “smart kids” are to be.
Also, children are seated at separate desks, taught to ignore everyone else, reminded not to talk, told that the teacher wants to see “what you can do, not what your neighbor can do. ” Given solitary seatwork assignments followed by solitary tests (Kohn, 214). The subliminal lesson is “How to be alone in a crowd. ” (Jackson). Consequently, going against logic by putting students in a group with others, and then telling them to create their own work. Teachers want students to all achieve at the same level, but yet they also want students to show what ets them apart from the rest.
For ACT And SAT testing, students are normally required to sit in alphabetical order, in spaced out straight lines. Phil Clinton, principal of the Anglo-American School of Moscow in Russia sees it differently. During a listserv debate last year about whether teachers should assign or not assign students to specific seats, Clinton objected to assigning students seats. “All this talk about control in the classroom is very interesting but more than a bit disconcerting,” he stated. “Is it really a question of controlling our students?
Not that l’m for education in chaos, mind you, but is control really the aim here? What about the belief that those students are actually people and that none of us likes to be controlled? There is research and experience to show that students who have a voice in establishing the rules are much more likely to internalize and truly support/follow those rules. ” (Jones, para. 13) There’s no doubt that to improve a student’s grades we must improve the learning achievements. High stakes tempt cheating in both students and teachers.
University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt, of Freakonomics fame, analyzed statistical evidence of cheating in Chicago public schools. He found that “cheat by school personnel increased ollowing the introduction of high-stakes testing, particularly in lowest performing classrooms. ” The 2012 investigation by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution showed that 196 school districts across the country exhibited test score patterns consistent with widespread cheating. In 2011-2013, thirty-five educators were indicted in an FBI investigation for allegedly tampering with test scores in Atlanta (Kamenetz, 29).
Teacher isn’t a career anymore, it’s a job, a chore. A veteran fourth-grade teacher in Florida resigned in May 2013 via Youtube and said this “Raising students’ test scores on standardized tests is how the only goal… verything I loved about teaching is extinct” (Kamenetz, 23). Teachers learned at some point that they didn’t need tests. The most impressive classrooms and curricula are designed to help the teacher know as much as possible about how students are making sense of things.
When kids are engaged in meaningful, active learning – for example, designing extended, interdisciplinary projects — teachers who watch and listen as those projects are being planned and carried out have access to, and actively interpret, a continuous stream of information about what each student is able to do and where he or she requires help. It would be superfluous to give students a test after the learning is done. (Kohn, para. 10) Paying for education is doesn’t make testing anymore enticing. For instance, students need to pay a registration fee to take the SAT.
Not to mention the money parents put into extracurricular activities and other enrichment. According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for 2015-2016 school year for an in-state public college is $24,061. Lastly, while students should be focused on my school work and study habits, They will be out looking for a job to save up for tuition and fees. No one can argue that our education shouldn’t come with a price tag. There are some alternatives to SAT and ACT testing. For example, information feedback is an important part of the education process.
If the goal is really to provide such feedback rather than to rationalize the practice of giving grades for other reasons, then reducing someone’ss work to a letter or number is unnecessary and not terribly helpful. A, B+ at the top of a paper tells a student nothing about what was impressive or how their test grade can improve. The implication is that comments should replace supplement grades. If students want to know where they stand, then, grades do not provide them with usable information (Kohn, 202). To begin with, teachers should take more time engaging students in learning rather than preparing them for tests.
On one hand, many educators are concerned about “sugar-coating” activities, a justifiable concern in some cases, since these efforts may lack intellectual nourishment. But another good reason shows that carefully designed programs, such as fantasy contexts in computer-based learning, have been shown to lead “increased learning and retention of the material, greater generalization of that learning, heightened subsequent interest in the subject matter, enhanced confidence in the learner, and improvement in the actual process of learning (Lepper and Cordova).
In short, as long as these efforts do not distract us from the more important task of making sure the primary subject matter is meaningful and connected to children’s reallife experiences, they can play a role in enhancing the motivation to learn (Dewey). There is no question about it: choice works (Kohn, 223). Adding a final thought, stakes can be lowered if you evaluated students using multiple measures. A decision should never be made mechanically on the basis of a single test score (Kamenetz, 130).
Although all of the evidence found makes banning SAT and ACT testing satisfying, one may still believe testing is a crucial part of the American school system. Test prep for college entrance exams is fundamental to increasing your child’s chances of being accepted to the college or university of his or her choice. Getting familiar with the tests will help him score higher, and higher scores can unlock opportunities that he would otherwise miss out on (Wasson, para. 1).
Even so, by banning SAT and ACT testing, stressing over test scores for college entrance would be over. Each and every student is a different thinker and has the potential to be something extraordinary. Still, many colleges want the students with the higher test scores and perfect A’s to keep up their school great achievement. They fail to perceive a student’s potential predicated on one’s self, rather than a letter or number score. There is no question about it: choice works (Kohn, 223).
Stakes can be lowered if you evaluated students using multiple measures. A decision should never be made mechanically on the basis of a single test score (Kamenetz, 130). Students shouldn’t have to overstress during exam time. Students spe ending extra money for tutors to understand more about the test and the curriculum isn’t necessary. These tests just collect money and don’t test student’s abilities. In conclusion, SAT and ACT testing should be abolished because all students are more than a test score.