Stumbling over standardized tests

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Ishika Prakash (11) prepares for the PSAT by taking a practice test. The PSAT determines one’s qualification for the National Merit Scholarship.

Anni Rajput

Standardized tests depict how intelligent students are in subjects such as math, science or language arts. The scores can determine much of a student’s future. However, do standardized tests show the abstract intelligence or talents of students?

“I think [standardized tests] are not an accurate representation of someone’s intelligence because they do not correctly depict how we perceive our world or how we face problems,” Ishika Prakash (11) said.

Standardized tests are focused on concrete skills learned in school, which may or may not be a student’s strongest aspect. The scores also decide many parts of a student’s future, such as being accepted into a certain college.

“I think having some of your future decisions be based on a standardized test is horrible because something might happen in your life that could influence your score, and it isn’t fair because you could be doing other amazing things that wouldn’t be shown by taking a strictly formatted test,” Prakash said.

Even though some students may be against this testing system, it is still important to take certain steps in order to prepare for testing.

“For the SAT and ACT I have 700-800 page books, which I will go over. I also have a tutor, but I think I will do most of the preparing on my own,” Prakash said.

With all of the preparing and trying to keep up with other classes, students may feel stressed. Many have to find ways in order to cope and push themselves to strive for success.

“Whenever I feel really stressed about [trying to keep up with school], I tell myself I can get through it, and I have older friends who give me advice. They help set an example, and their success pushes me to work hard,” Prakash said.