Testing, Testing | Teen Ink

Testing, Testing MAG

January 22, 2009
By Sri Palanisamy SILVER, Sewickely, Pennsylvania
Sri Palanisamy SILVER, Sewickely, Pennsylvania
6 articles 0 photos 14 comments

Albert Einstein once said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” Even he saw the obvious fallacies in testing.

The basic purpose of school is to equip us for success. That's what teachers, principals, governments, and oceans of bureaucracy exist to do. But success is measured in so much more than just scantron bubbles and fill-in-the-blank questions. A person's morals and character play a far greater part in personal achievement than knowing trivial facts.

Testing results in kids forgetting what they've learned. As contradictory as this sounds, I have firsthand experience of its truth. The only reason high school students learn is to ace the test. As soon as we step out of the classroom, we dump the information to create space. We then repeat the process. Even the honors kids do not retain much by the end of the year. And for the all-important finals, we reteach ourselves as much of the material as possible.

Furthermore, testing is not an efficient measure of intelligence. How well someone can memorize notes is not an indicator of smarts. Intelligence has more to do with comprehending material and the accompanying curiosity that results in students wanting to learn more. You cannot coerce someone into learning.

But the biggest injustice kids have to deal with is the biased, agenda-ridden concept of standardized testing. Some exams in my state are designed to grade the school. I believe that these do not further the learning process. Tests that are presented under the pretext of learning are actually used to brand a school and its kids as satisfactory or sub-par. These tests only have to do with funding, following the great fallacy of the No Child Left Behind Act. Schools must have adequate test scores in order to receive government funding, despite the fact that schools with lower scores are the ones that need the help most.

Consequently, schools with slashed funding turn to drastic measures of “teaching to the test” and cutting classes like creative writing, art, and even science – subjects that encourage the deeper thinking and reasoning so critical to personal development.

I hope that in the future, testing will become just another tool in the arsenal of teaching, not the savior of the educational system.

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This article has 23 comments.

annycs13 GOLD said...
on Mar. 2 2015 at 5:26 pm
annycs13 GOLD, Davis, California
12 articles 12 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The less you reveal, the more people can wonder.."

-Emma Watson

I totally agree. I don't think that people should be measured on intelligence and a test score.

KatsK DIAMOND said...
on Feb. 19 2012 at 5:14 pm
KatsK DIAMOND, Saint Paul, Minnesota
57 articles 0 photos 301 comments

Favorite Quote:
Being inexhaustible, life and nature are a constant stimulus for a creative mind.
~Hans Hofmann
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
~Ray Bradbury

I really agree- some schools similar to mine teach for the standardized tests so their students will look good, but ours doesn't. Although we have tests, they aren't the focus of our school (which I think is the right approach).

on Oct. 10 2011 at 2:49 pm
KPetty13 BRONZE, Saint Cloud, Florida
4 articles 0 photos 22 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you're lucky enought to be different, never change." ~ Taylor Swift

I agree with you completely! Great article!(:

on Sep. 18 2011 at 6:21 am
Rocinante SILVER, Wexford, Pennsylvania
7 articles 1 photo 386 comments
Wow, that's pretty bad! Yes, tests are overrated, and what if before the 7th grade test, you'd just been up late coughing cause you had a cold and when you went there, you were tired and you're brain wasn't working too well. (just an example of a random event that could devastate your test scores) So they base the next two years of your education on that? Hmmm...

on Sep. 18 2011 at 6:18 am
Rocinante SILVER, Wexford, Pennsylvania
7 articles 1 photo 386 comments
I agree, AngelicaM.

on Sep. 18 2011 at 6:16 am
Rocinante SILVER, Wexford, Pennsylvania
7 articles 1 photo 386 comments
I think goodnightmoon has a really good point. Good tests do help to ingraine information, however bad tests do have kids remembering silly little details rather than the concept, as goodnightmoon said. I agree though, that the schools with lower test scores need help more. They're probably poorer and can't afford good materials to teach kids. I also strongly agree that memorizing notes is not a good indicator of smarts, as you said. Excellent point. However, maybe it's just me, but you seem to not have a clear idea of what you want, whereas you know perfectly well what you don't want. A solution to your problem is the only thing I can think of to make this better.

on Apr. 17 2011 at 4:23 pm
goodnightmoon, Wapakoneta, Ohio
0 articles 0 photos 17 comments

Favorite Quote:
We all matter. Maybe less than a lot, but always more than none.
-John Green

I totally understand where you're coming from, but I also think that testing is already a learning tool. How many kids would forget the information anyway, especially if there was no test. I think that some tests are a little ridiculous and check to make sure we can remember tiny details than try to make sure we know the general concepts, but I also think that we need tests in order to retain at least some of the information. 

I really agree with your mention of No Child Left Behind and tests increasing or decreasing funding. But I think that some standardized tests are needed. For instance, an ACT or SAT score helping to determine who gets into a college is an excellent thing. Otherwise, acceptance would be based even more on gender and race than it is now.

Nazneen BRONZE said...
on Mar. 26 2011 at 2:17 pm
Nazneen BRONZE, Rangpur, Other
1 article 2 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
Survival for the fittest

i cant memorize all those yrs of hsitory and longitude lattitude of geography...its painful...


Becca17 GOLD said...
on Mar. 26 2011 at 10:01 am
Becca17 GOLD, Belleville Ontario, Other
10 articles 0 photos 36 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Seven Deadly Sins:
Wealth without work
Pleasure without conscience
Science without humanity
Knowledge without character
Politics without principle
Commerce without morality
Worship without sacrifice.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

Totally agree. I love how thorough you put it.

on Mar. 4 2011 at 8:12 pm
chocolatemoose77, Birmingham, Michigan
0 articles 0 photos 4 comments

I would really like the schools to do away with tests and think of some innovative way to actually make kids actually care about what they are learning, because if you think about it, tests are more of a threat than anything from the student's point of view. If we don't do well, then we won't get a good grade, and our GPA goes down. Somebody needs to make school fun, and it would be so much easier to retain the information. Of course, this isn't really feasable for most districts, I'm lucky, I go to a school district that has extra funding to do stuff sorta fun.

Of course, some kids wouldn't care about school no matter what.

on Feb. 10 2011 at 4:59 pm
Hawthorn BRONZE, Nowheresville, Maine
3 articles 0 photos 55 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Know Thy Enemy" Sun Tzu

tests are overrated. I had a Really weird testing experience once. When I was tested in 5th grade and they determined that I was "Gifted" then in 7th grade I was tested again and guess what? I wasn't gifted anymore. Then, a year later I was tested again and, how amazing, I was gifted again! Now how on earth am I supposed to fluctuate like that!? 

on Feb. 10 2011 at 10:22 am
CassidyMarturana BRONZE, Califon, New Jersey
1 article 4 photos 43 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life isn't about just waiting out the storm. It's about learning to dance in the rain."

I totally agree with this! I can't memorize anything for my life and subsequently end up with low scores on standardized tests. It makes me feel so frustrated because I know I could do better if the tests weren't just trying to see whether or not I can remember some random fact or date that will have no impact on my life. Thanks for writing this; I hope the government someday realizes what's wrong with their stupid tests.

JustTaz said...
on Jan. 19 2011 at 5:17 pm

Most standardized test are more skill based though... what math can you do, how well you can comprehend something you just read, or basic grammar rules. really no studying involved...


As far as classes go projects are usually half done and meaningless, group work put off to one person, and speeches have the shy student failing no matter how much they know. Test are the easiest way to quickly check retained knowledge no matter how briefly and if you studied right you should retain it for a month at the least, but sadly most people cram and quickly forget...

on Oct. 23 2010 at 5:01 pm
thebushhippie PLATINUM, Sandown, New Hampshire
24 articles 0 photos 49 comments

Favorite Quote:
Leave behind your own footprints! :0)

I agree with you. I think testing should still be used in schools, but they shouldn't be the only thing that measures a student's knowledge. I really hate taking tests but I love doing projects. Schools should look for more alternatives for grading instead of testing! Awesome article!!!!!

on Sep. 13 2010 at 4:31 pm
Imaginedangerous PLATINUM, Riverton, Utah
31 articles 0 photos 402 comments

It's very aggravating to have a teacher who's entire class revolves around his or her tests.

And why haven't we dumped NCLB yet?

on Sep. 12 2010 at 2:55 pm
AngelicaM BRONZE, Warren, Michigan
4 articles 0 photos 15 comments
Even if you remember just a few sparse facts, consider how much more you have forgotten. I have the highest GPA of my sophomore class, and I know that with all the tests I have to study for, inevitably, many facts are forgotten. Isn't it more important to learn thinking skills or an appreciation of knowledge and creativity?

on Jul. 27 2010 at 4:06 am
lizzymwrites GOLD, Miami, Florida
13 articles 0 photos 56 comments

Favorite Quote:
The only people for me are the mad ones... the ones who never yawn and say a commonplace thing but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders against the stars." - Jack Kerouac


You don't forget everything you study for tests. I can still remember where Gabriel Garcia Marquez was born, and what each president did for my country. Tests are useful.

on Jul. 5 2010 at 5:50 pm
HAWKEYESTATE4ever, Clive, Iowa
0 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." -William Shakespeare


on Feb. 9 2010 at 4:29 am
HeadshotM SILVER, Melbourne, New York
7 articles 0 photos 49 comments

Favorite Quote:
Your failure is my success

Have u noticed how the more u study, the more the pencils and pens are used up

beth12345 said...
on Nov. 30 2009 at 7:00 am
I think school test are overrated and sutid i fail all my test but my teachers think im stmart