The Low Standards of Standardized Testing



Students grudgingly take a standardized test in a classroom.


As testing slowly comes to an end, let us reflect on our experiences.

A lot of them were negative.

When the first round of state testing came around, the NJGPA English and Math assessments caused a large amount of problems. The first day of testing, some students were found waiting thirty minutes to an hour to begin due to technical issues. Other students were able to start their test, only to later be kicked out of the system. Upon further conversation with Ms. Loufek, Pearson—not the school administrators— was found to be the culprit of such failures, unable to provide our school with technical support due to their unfamiliarity with Macbooks.

This test, a graduation requirement, lost all its security and credibility due to the negligence of its manufacturer. Surely this can’t happen again?

Flash forward a few months. Students wait anxiously for their AP English Literature and Composition tests to load onto their devices. Slowly, error codes sweep across the screens of nearly everyone, causing the test to be postponed by two weeks.

The culprit? Not the administrators. It was the College Board responsible for inducing more stress and anxiety within students by making them wait longer to test. Due to a number of internal errors on their end, the College Board failed to download digital exams on the computers of thousands of students.

What do these incidents demonstrate about testing? They demonstrate incompetence. They demonstrate indifference. They demonstrate failure.

More importantly, they demonstrate the issues of standardized testing. Everyone knows about “Big Tech” and the dangers companies like Amazon and Google pose towards humanity. But has anyone thought about “Big Testing?”

Companies like Pearson and College Board are spiraling out of control. Expanding by wrapping their arms around school districts, forcing them to accept exams that legitimize students in the game that is college admissions, these corporations are losing efficiency. In an attempt to optimize profits, these corporations disregard the emotions, feelings of students.

These corporations lose their humanity, sacrificing attention to detail as they aim to maximize their income. The result of their behavior? Students suffering. With standardized tests dictating admissions into colleges, students no longer have control when the creator messes up.

It is time “Big Testing” is held to higher standards when their products determine the fate of students in the tribunal of college admissions. In a chase for money, these corporations cannot forget the human customers they deal with, customers that seek to win in a highly competitive game involving thousands of dollars and essays and grades. Perhaps it is time for Taftesque trust-busting to ensure better experiences for all students, reliant on the products these corporations manufacture.