Should Schools Ditch Standardized Tests?

Some schools have made standardized testing optional or eliminated it altogether. Should all schools drop these tests?

Your teacher announces you’ll be taking a standardized test, so you get ready to spend hours trying to decide between answers A, B, C, or D. Is this the best use of class time? With standardized testing, all students in a district or state take the same test at the same time. Some educators say this is the best way to chart academic progress and see where students need extra instruction. But critics say these tests don’t accurately measure students’ abilities and create unnecessary stress for both students and teachers. What do you think? Read two teens’ responses, then vote in our poll.


Schools should ditch these tests. Having taken many standardized tests over the years, I don’t believe they represent what I've achieved during my time at school. My grades are a much more nuanced and reliable indication of my performance in my classes. They show how I did on a series of assignments and exams over the course of the semester, rather than how I performed on a single test. Research backs me up: A recent study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that high scores on a standardized test might indicate only that the student is good at taking those kinds of tests, not that the student knows how to apply the knowledge to real-world problems. Standardized tests are stressful and unhelpful, so I believe we should get rid of them.

—Carrie Tananbaum, New Jersey


I’m not going to argue that taking a standardized test is fun. I know they can be stressful, but there are valid reasons for keeping them. Standardized testing is an objective way to measure how students are performing. While in theory all tests should do this, there is just too much variation between classes for class-specific tests to be as useful. Standardized testing enables schools to identify areas where they might need to improve their curriculum so that students are at the same level as students from other schools and districts. They also give students practice in taking these types of tests, which we may need to take to apply to college, to get a driver’s permit, and even for some jobs. Standardized tests might not be fun, but they’re important.

—Dylan Mondrus, Connecticut

What does your class think?

Should schools ditch standardized tests?

Please enter a valid number of votes for one class to proceed.

Should schools ditch standardized tests?

Please select an answer to vote.

Should schools ditch standardized tests?

Total Votes: 0
Thank you for voting!
Sorry, an error occurred and your vote could not be processed. Please try again later.

Get the digital lesson plan for this article

Skills Sheets (3)
Skills Sheets (3)
Skills Sheets (3)
Lesson Plan (2)
Lesson Plan (2)