It is worth noting that, despite the benefits that standardized testing has, many experts in the area of education, as well as the key stakeholders, stress a number of drawbacks of this approach to college admission. For instance, tests do not allow educational institutions to evaluate many important aspects, and the statistical approach that is used in determining the results is narrow. In addition, many teachers are forced to focus on preparing for the testing solely, which does not allow them to encourage and support students’ interest in the subject (Springer et al. 211). Moreover, upon admission, standardized tests limit the abilities of entrants and do not give them the possibility to fully demonstrate their knowledge, skills, as well as creative and critical thinking. Consequently, many American universities use other criteria when admitting entrants. Due to the fact that many other countries, in comparison to the USA, use standardized tests as the main method for admitting students, some of the international students as well as their families might be worried that they would not be able to display their core competencies; however, it is just the reverse.
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A less rigid form of college admission provides an opportunity to use more flexible methods of monitoring and evaluating the knowledge of future students. In addition, independent evaluation allows for a more complete examination of the competencies of applicants (Springer et al. 215). Thus, international students should not feel worried about the fact that they will not be able to prove themselves during the admission procedure as they could exhibit themselves with standardized testing. Quite the contrary, a flexible approach instead of formalized testing will enable them to show a deeper analysis in accordance with their individual capabilities and characteristics and enforce educational institutions to assess students’ knowledge at different levels of the educational system.
It is crucial to emphasize that many experts believe that standardized testing is a more efficient and objective way of assessment due to the fact that its objectivity is achieved through a standardized procedure for conducting and verifying quality indicators. Moreover, testing is a more equitable method since it is aimed at placing all students in equal conditions both in the control process and in the evaluation procedure eliminating the subjectivism of the evaluator. In addition, despite a single procedure and criteria, it does not lead to a reduction in pre-examination nerve stresses. It also does not allow evaluating the productive levels of knowledge associated with probabilistic, abstract, and methodological knowledge and does not provide an opportunity for an in-depth analysis of the topic (Blumenstyk 103). Consequently, almost no students will be able to show their skills fully during the testing.
Apart from that, standardized testing cannot be used with all students. For instance, learners with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder might require more time to complete certain tasks, and the test form implies that each question is given a limited amount of minutes. Overall, students with learning disabilities (for instance, dyslexia) would benefit the least from them. Nevertheless, students coming from different regions might benefit from this form of control since the possibility of bias, prejudice, or varied instruction is eliminated (Durham 29). To be able to support a student who feels unsure about his or her productivity during a test, it is essential to advise him or her to practice taking several tests in a similar format. It will enable to make sure the student is familiar with the formal requirements and will be able to exhibit the best results without being worried about the standardized format of assessment.
Blumenstyk, Goldie. American Higher Education in Crisis? Oxford University Press, 2014.
Durham, Guinevere. Standardized Testing Skills. R&L Education, 2014.
Springer, Sally, et al. Admission Matters. John Wiley & Sons, 2013.