November 7

Essay Contest Winner



Tramell Orr


(Submitted 25 October 2014)


“…the trials of modern adolescence: constantly having to take tests that sort and rank you among your peers…” Just one of renowned author Veronica Roth’s many great book reviews. If there was one thing I could change about the world I live in today it would be the existence of standardized tests. I do not fully understand the importance of testing if one’s scores are not 100% accurate. I often time find myself in deep thought thinking about how these test even exist.

One reason why I argue that standardized tests should not exist is the fact that they have been proved inaccurate. These test fail to measure every child’s level of knowledge while considering the fact that everyone does not share the same level of intelligence. Therefore, everyone is not able to comprehend the information the same; even if one person is ‘smarter’ than another. Unlike many males living in predominantly black neighborhoods I have no problem excelling on standardized tests; but what happens to those that do? Do they slip into the cracks of the cruel society we live in today? Could be the lead cause of higher crime rate in Cleveland, Ohio?

Another reason why I do not agree with standardized testing is the amount of stress that it brings. Many if not all scholars are worried about achieving high goals on these tests and it can be mentally exhausting. I know for me, before I take tests I tend to be highly agitated and  anxious. Although I will agree that life can be stressful I disagree with the fact that a student should be stressed about a couple sheets of paper deciding the rest of their life. Not only are these tests harsh but they also have more negative impacts on the world than positive.

Lastly, standardized testing is not persistent, it changes every few years or so meaning the previous versions were an inaccurate way of measuring one’s knowledge. For example, a while back tests called the OPT were administered then the OGT and now these PARCC exams. I do believe there should be some effective way of testing. Individualized tests would be more effective than the tests administered currently. If the government really aimed for high test results then they would ensure it happens and as far as I see it they have yet to make an effective change.

In a word, if there were one thing I would change about the world I live in it would be the existence of standardized tests. As I previously stated these tests are inaccurate and are essential causes of failure; which leads to crime, violence and utter pandemonium.