Standardized Testing Causes Stress Research Paper


Standardized tests are overall bad on students' wellness. On average students have 15% more cortisol in their system on the day of the test (Texas A&M University research team). This causes students to be jittery and distracted for the test and other school work they might do for the day. Forcing students to preform under extreme pressure leads to depression and anxiety long term(SIRS). Many students lose sleep at night due to the fear of failing which can be detrimental to their health. As a result of all the stress, many students begin to feel resentment towards the education system (SIRS). Many students feel it is unfair to be forced to do an upwards of 2 hours a night preparing for a test on top of their jobs, extracurriculars or other responsibilities. 

Standardized tests are often times inaccurate when it comes to determining if a student is on level or not. Failing the ACT, FCA or other important tests can hold a student who normally does very well in school back a grade or cause them to lose a scholarship or offer to college.(SIRS) This is unfair to many students who work hard in extracurriculars or academically for scholarships. Many critics argue that standardized testing only demonstrates a students academic ability on the day of the test rather than the student's performance for the whole school year (GALE). Students who make A’s and B’s all year and have an average 3.4 GPA are at risk of being punished for a single test grade. Standardized testing does not take stress levels or personal distractions into account (GALE). Students may be going through a family death or personal issue that may make it difficult to study or be clear minded for the test.

Standardized testing only benefits the producers of tests, politicians, and administrators, not the students. Politicians use standardized test to their advantage to get the popular vote. (SIRS)Many politicians don’ t genuinely care about test results or students themselves, but the promise of good results will help them win. Administrators get more school funds and a higher pay if their school has good test results, so many administrators will boost student test grades to get more money (SIRS). This seems like a great thing for students, and it can be, but the said reason for testing is to determine students true knowledge level, if a students test is boosted, the purpose of the test is no longer the reason for the test. ACT and other standardized testing companies get an average of 15 dollars per test they sell. America spends millions (close to billions) of dollars per year on tests. While there are nearly 400 students (SIRS) per counselor in the US, that is too many students for one counselor making it hard to talk to counselors about the stress of tests. If we lower the cost of tests by making them less important, we will be saving millions of dollars that could go to hiring more counselors for students.

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