Standardized Tests VS Intelligence

Student studies for SAT in Library

Lilly McCullah

Student studies for SAT in Library

Cam Smith, Staff Reporter

Standardized tests are supposed to determine students’ level of intelligence , but why should  a 50 question algebra test make you  dumb or smart? 

Standardized tests were created in the 20th century  as a “fair” way to evaluate academic success  across the country. For decades these tests were the golden tickets to having a good life. If you don’t get a good score, you may not  get into college. This means  you won’t get a good job. And if you don’t get a good job you won’t have a good life. 

Frankly these tests don’t even show how hard students have been working overall. According to the National Education Association, 70% of educators believe that state assessments are not developmentally appropriate.  Teachers understand through their experience with children that a child’s willingness to learn is influenced by a variety of factors. Teachers also understand that a child’s ability to learn something new is determined by both the child’s prior experiences and skills as well as the concepts being taught.

 Some important things that standardized tests don’t measure are creativity, critical thinking, resilience, leadership, resourcefulness and honesty. 

Not only do standardized tests cause student confidence to plummet by separating them into groups based on score, but also deepen class divides. 

Test companies don’t only manufacture the tests. They also assemble the preparatory courses and programs that result in  students who can afford expensive test prep having an unfair advantage over those who cannot . Individuals from families earning more than 200,000 dollars a year average a combined SAT score of 1714, while students from families earning under 200,000 dollars a year average a combined score of 1326 as reported by The Washington Post.

Rich schools with lots of funding have an unfair advantage over low  income schools. Imagine you play a sport, let’s say baseball. You’re very skilled at baseball and want to play in college, but since you go to a low-income school you don’t get proper test preparation. You don’t do well on your tests and can’t go to college to fulfill your ambitions. This is also applicable to those who want to pursue art or play an instrument. 

Furthermore test anxiety can occur when students are so overwhelmed by the material that by the time the test comes they are unable to perform. Thirty-five percent of all students have moderate, high, or severe test anxiety reported by 

One could argue that the SAT and other large exams  help some students get into college. This may be  true, but for others it can prevent just that.. 

During the time students spend on preparing for and taking the test, they could be doing something far more valuable, such as learning something new that interests them personally . 

Testing isn’t about what a student has learned anymore. It’s about cramming a million things inside your brain in the hopes of remembering everything when test day arrives.  All things considered  standardized tests should not potentially determine your whole future; they shouldn’t be the golden tickets.