Multiple choice exams have this problem, they can’t test the information that a person fully knows, it only tests whether they chose the right answer or possibly just guessed it. With only a slew of multiple choice questions it can be easy to get a “good” score or a “bad” score. That’s why these tests are flawed, the results they show don’t prove anything or really show anything for that matter. So, using these long multiple choice exams are what college’s consider to be a reflection of a student’s grades during their first year at college. The test maker itself explains that grade point averages during high school paint a better picture than their tests ("The ACT: Biased, Inaccurate, and Misused" 1).
He also finds that most high schools focus too much on getting young adults ready for college. Another problem with high school is kids may be smart but do not excel during test taking, so the teacher does not see that kid as a smart student. This may lead to the teacher acting as if this student is not as intelligent as others. If a student picks up on that, which often happens, that student may think he is not as intelligent as the other kids. The child may wonder “what is the point of school, besides attendance?” (Baker 225) If a student has a positive outlook on his own intelligence, then that student may do better than if he thought he was intellectually behind his classmates.
However, for almost all students, they find that this is not the reality. Just like high school, they find that they have to take approximately two years in general studies in order to attend and graduate with the major of their choice. General education classes should not be required because a majority of the information learned has already been covered in past years. Most of the courses do not benefit a student 's major, and the total amount of required hours for these classes can become a big waste of time and money. My first reason why general education classes should not be required in college is because the topics that they are learning have already been taught in high school.
Although teachers spend a majority of the course getting students ready for these future depending standardized tests, they do not actually teach you. As a student one does not learn, instead, one gains skills on how to achieve a higher score, and that is where teachers fail as mentors to help a student that has to take the ACT or SAT. Furthermore, standardized tests may contain biases that prevent certain groups of students from doing well due to differences in learning styles, cultural diversity, and language barriers. That being said, I believe that standardized tests are not fair toward those in which English is their second language. The majority of English Learning Language students do not perform as well as native English speaker on the standardized tests being used for accountability purpose under the No Child Left Behind.
Meanwhile, students in other countries taking alternative assessments other than Standardized test excel above academic levels of the United States. A typical teacher’s curriculum in the public school system is designed around specific areas being assessed in high state testing. This method is called "teaching to the test". Educators are not left with room for creativity in the classroom when constantly being drilled to base an entire school year around only subject areas touched upon in these exams. For example, if the educator saw that a certain student had particular interest in a topic but that certain topic was not being assessed in the exam his or her interest would most likely not be drawn upon.
The traditional high school A-F grading system no longer reflects an accurate measurement of student success. Providing a new system where grades are measured by the rank of the student in the class will provide a system more honest than before, it will benefit students and prospective colleges. Changing the grading scale to a system where students are ranked from a curve based off the total percentage of points potentially earned in the course. In addition to a system where few in a class receive a failing grade and if a student falls below the line have the opportunity to obtain a successful grade in the course by completing extra course work and offering an opportunity to retake tests/quizzes. A student will be more willing to take a risk by taking a class that they may not get an A in.
The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) was created to test college-bound students on their mathematical and verbal aptitudes and to thus predict their ability to succeed academically in college. In the United States, the SAT is the oldest and most widely used college entrance test. It was first administered in June 1926 to only 8,040 high school students and is now taken by over 2 million students. Over the years, the SAT has become one of the most important tests of a teenager's life for admission to college. The test is administered seven times a year at thousands of testing centers throughout the United States.
“I’ve heard that getting a 4.0 at this school is about as likely as winning the lottery or getting struck by lightening. It could be considered an act of god,” said Haley Goucher, a freshman premed student at Boston University. If a student does receive a 4.0 at Boston University they are in the minority. In a survey of 100 Boston University students, only 23% received an "A" in any one of their classes and 0% of the students had a GPA of 4.0. Many of these students expressed that this sudden decline of grades made them lose confidence in their work and themselves.
Standardized testing has been proven to be biased towards those of ethnic and socioeconomic disadvantaged groups. Wealthy students become more prepared for standardized tests through better life experiences, such as top-quality schools and test prep tutors. Steven Syverson implies that students with high SAT scores are presumed to be “bright” and encouraged to consider the most selective colleges, with no regard to their academic performance in high school (57). Those students that were considered elite, but did not perform well their parents suggested to admission counselors that they were “not challenged” in high school (Syverson 57). According to Marchant and Paulson, race, parent education, and family income were found to account as much as 94% of the variance in scores among states (85:62).
If you did great in high school and lack the test taking skills necessary to be able to ace the standardized tests should not be the end of your college dream. College counselors should look past them and into your history to find the real you. Berger, Susan J. "The Rise And Demise Of The Sat." American Educational History Journal 39.1/2 (2012): 165-180.