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Standardized Testing

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by KnightWriter, Apr 8, 2002.

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  1. Kuna_Tiori

    Kuna_Tiori Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 20, 2002
    Ok. <takes deep breath>

    Category I: Admissions Tests
    I've never taken the ACT, but I have taken the SAT I once and also taken numerous SAT I diagnostic tests and am currently taking a prep course.

    Quite frankly, the SAT I SUCKS. It's totally stupid, it tests you on words the majority of the people will and shouldn't ever use and how well you score has less to do with your academic prowess than your sex, ethncity, and family income.

    As numerous souces will attest to, the SAT I measures how well you take the SAT I, nothing else. And the questions are designed to trick you, they are totally ambiguous, and they often rely on the "obvious" answers. One reason why I have some trouble with the test is because I read too much into questions, I have an analytical and open mind and I always try to consider all possibilities. The SAT I doesn't allow for that. In other words, it's not that I'm not good enough for the SAT, the SAt isn't good enough for me. I know it's a terribly egotistical thing to say but I think it's true.

    I heard that there's a new one coming out, and I'm thankful that I don't have to take it. They're doing away with analogies (a step in the right direction) but they still retain vocab-intense questions and a new writing section (which is good) but also an essay section (which is bad). Worse is the new math section - they'll include Algebra II problems, which IMHO is really dumb.

    Well, those are my opinions. Enough ranting on that.

    About the SAT II's: I've taken the Biology-E one and it's a great deal better than SAT I in terms of how and what it tests.

    AP Exams: I've taken the Biology one. It's kriffin hard. Other than that it's alright.

    Conclusion: Admissions tests are a necessary evil. If there was a viable alternative, I'd advocate it, but since there's really no other benchmark a college can use, they'd have to use these (no matter how twisted they are).

    [b]Category II: School Proficiency Tests[/b]
    [i]Standardized tests don't test what you learn. There is no fair way to compare how individual students do. I know people who have gone through a test and compeletly guessed on every question or they've made pretty designs with the dots. It's just a stuoid excuse to spend money and make the students work harder in competition with eachother to make your state look better. I've pretty much said all I think. -Sky[/i]

    I agree. I'm from California and we have to take two exams called the [b]High School Exit Exam[/b] and [b]STAR[/b].

    The HSEE is alright, since it's so easy. And I do kinda see the point in having to take a test to get out of college - I think the schools see it as a fradulous proof that you're "ready" to enter the adult world. Then again, I passed the ridiculous test freshman year in high school. So can I vote now?

    The STAR is pretty stupid. First of all, you have to take it every year except your senior year. Why don't seniors have to take it?

    Second of all, it's to "rank" schools and allow real estate agents and school boards brag about how "great" their school is. "[i]My[/i] school scored the highest in the STAR test!!" Right, like I really care. It doesn't matter how great your school curriculum and teachers are, if your students are bone lazy or overworked or crack smokers you know they're not going to do well.

    Third of all, some of the questions they ask about is really dumb. And they don't give enough time for certain sections (like science) and too much for others.

    [b]Conclusion:[/b] The only good thing about it is that it's pretty easy.


    [i]I am not good at English, so I won?t comment too much there, but the math should be basic information that anyone knows, and if you don?t, you should not take the positions in college from someone who does know it.[/i]

    Oh really? How about this question:

    What is the arithmetic mean of the following numbers: 1, 1, 1, 2, 3, 4?

    a) 1
    b) 1.5
    c) 2
    d) 3
    e) 4


    Also, why is it that schools who score>
  2. celera

    celera Jedi Youngling star 2

    May 13, 2002
    Algebra 2? I don't take that until junior year. I won't have a complete background of it to take the SAT. But my dad wants to send me to a review course next year so that makes up for it.

    I don't know exactly what NJ and NY do when schools get low test scores but I totally agree that the low scorers should get more funding. Oh well, the rich get richer, the poor get poorer.
  3. Kuna_Tiori

    Kuna_Tiori Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 20, 2002
    Oh well, the rich get richer, the poor get poorer.

    Nah, the rich get richer and the poor get - children. :p (You have to read The Great Gatsby to get the joke, but oh well.)

    Anyways, you're right. To put Algebra II questions on the SAT I is pure ludicrisy. As is this new essay section - I don't care what ETS says about how the critics who grade the essays have to follow some sort of criteria, what you'd get on the essay will always be subjective. Some "standardized" test.
  4. celera

    celera Jedi Youngling star 2

    May 13, 2002
    I get the joke even though I've never read The Great Gatsby. All third world countries are contributing greatly to the world population boom. Take a look at India.

  5. Kuna_Tiori

    Kuna_Tiori Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 20, 2002
    True, true. I really ought to start a thread on overpopulation.

    Well, anyways, back to standardized testing. Anyone have anything more to say?
  6. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Nov 28, 2000
    Algebra II should be on the SAT I. It makes no sense if it isn't.

    I'm taking Algebra II this year (10th), but I know four other people that are taking AP Calcuulus A this year (10th).

    I've never seen any problems with standardized tests because they're so damn easy. I took the CA STAR test (supposedly the hardest state sponsered test) and got 99th percentiles in all of the areas. I got 490-500 in the Biology, History, and English extended tests (supposedely 350+ is excellent). Standardized tests are a joke.

    The standardized tests should simply be the bare minimum one needs to graduate High School. The freshmen class of my school has an average percentile rank of 97.4 percent... and we don't teach to the rest.

    IMO, missing any of those questions is intolerable.

    They might be absurd, but that's the point. They measure cognitive abilities. If the question was something normal, our memory might help us. It has to be something that has not been encountered before. It's the best test of logic there is.

    Though I think they need serious revamping.

    As for GPAs, there needs to be a set measurement. Ex. I'm taking an IB program, which means I'll automatically get at least a 4.0 (Everything gets an extra point, and if I get less than a "B", out I go.)

    Some schools, though, don't offer such high-level courses, and the max GPA is a 4.0

    Either the academic standards for the U.S. should be raised to at LEAST a decent level...

    Or lower GPAs are needed.

  7. Cailina

    Cailina Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 18, 1999
    First of all I just wanted to mention that my school also seems to have a problem with teachers teaching to the test(the state standardized high school proficiency one) or rather just taking inordinate amounts of time out of the regular curriculum to make sure kids are ready for these tests and don't fail them. Honestly I think this is worthless since they are pretty hard to fail. I managed to avoid it in math since I was in Calculus AP AB last year(Junior) and my teacher basically said if you're in this class then you won't have a problem with the test.

    Regarding GPA: Our school doesn't even use a 4.0 scale we use an 100 point scale which is really confusing when I go to college admissions meetings and they say their average entering freshman's high school GPA on a 4.0 scale. In addition to that we don't have IB but we do offer a lot of AP classes. For honors and AP classes we get 5 points extra for our weighted GPA. They used to give us an entire 10 points extra for AP classes which, considering the difficulty, is a lot more fair(this would be essentially the same as GJA getting an extra point for IB)
  8. HavocHound

    HavocHound Jedi Padawan star 4

    Nov 30, 2000
    All forms of oppressive standardization must be opposed, resisted, and defied through a massive insurrectionary revolt.

    And I'd like to see Zero Tolerance brought down once and for all.
  9. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Nov 28, 2000
    Hmm... California is ditching the Standford 9 in favor of the new CAT 6.

    Its a more standards-based test, but apparentely is just as easy.
  10. jedimaster5615

    jedimaster5615 Jedi Youngling star 2

    May 23, 2002
    I took the ACT and got a 29. I havn't taken the SAT, and I'm not going to.
  11. DarthYama

    DarthYama Jedi Master star 4

    May 16, 2001
    And I'd like to see Zero Tolerance brought down once and for all.

    A little off topic
    Zero Tolerance is the largest farce since... um... I don't know, actually. It's Orwellian. Zero Tolerance for some, others can get away with whatever they want.
  12. Talon_Karrde_

    Talon_Karrde_ Jedi Padawan star 4

    Aug 13, 2000
    My views:

    I am currently a high school senior enrolled in a private school. I have been told all my life that I have all this "potential" and should try hard in school. I just plain don't care; I rarely do homework because it's not necessary. I see no need to do work designed to help me learn a topic if I can take the test and pass without doing it. Anyway, that's a different topic. My cumulative GPA is sitting at 2.77.

    That's just a little background info on my situation to maybe help you better understand where I'm coming from.

    Ok, I am all for Standardized Testing. In my eyes Standardized Testing tests for true knowledge...not for memorization. Anyone can waste all their free time memorizing for a chapter test in high school and anyone can get a 4.0 if they try hard enough. Now don't get me wrong...if you work really hard for your GPA and don't do well on Standardized Tests, good for you! You should be rewarded for that hard work.

    At the same time, I'm tired of seeing all these people above me in class rank who are...for lack of a better word...cocky. They wear their 4.0's around like badges and flaunt their grades in front of everyone. Sit down and shut up! I'm not impressed by your memorization, I'm not impressed by your ability to get A+'s in classes that are designed for people 3 grades below you, and I'm not impressed by your ability to beg for a good grade.

    Grade inflation is running rampant. An A+ today is not worth what it was a couple years go. Too many schools and teachers give away their grades when they're undeserved.

    ALL THESE REASONS are why I am for Standardized Testing.

    Standardized Testing eliminates all these problems. I took the ACT last year and I draw all my conclusions from that experience...correct me if I'm wrong.

    1. You cannot memorize for the ACT, there's just too much info. You have to KNOW the topics, not merely remember them. I call that LEARNING.

    2. There is no inflation with the ACT, which?s why they call it a Standardized Test. There are no nice teachers who'll dump your score a point just because you beg them to. What you get is what you get.

    In conclusion...sorry, kinda random thinking up there, but I feel that Standardized Testing is a good thing for the reasons stated above. Unfortunately, it sucks for the person who gets average grades and doesn't score well on Standardized Tests. I feel for you people, my best friend is that way and it frustrates me to see her try so hard and yet not get anywhere. Standardized Testing is the best form for testing knowledge we CURRENTLY have. GPA is more a test of effort than anything. It's my hope that someone will develop a new and better way to test these things.

    Just my thoughts, I can't wait to hear your responses.

    D-'-,-'-,'-,-- Karrde
  13. celera

    celera Jedi Youngling star 2

    May 13, 2002
    Is ACT better than SAT? Many people on this thread have the impression that the SAT is biased and useless.

    There should be a national standard for GPA's. Your school seems to have a stupid one, Cailina.

    Here's my school's standard on an A+
    Regular: 4.33
    Accelerated: 5.33
    Honors: 6.33

    I'm usually good at standardized tests but when taking the PSAT, I sucked at math and got a 43. If I don't take Algebra II until junior year, does that mean I'm doomed at the math part unless I go to a review course?
  14. Palpazzar

    Palpazzar Jedi Padawan star 4

    Aug 11, 2000
    Like it or not, standardized testing and GPA are some of the best predictors of college success and are thus useful.

    ACT, SAT, and GRE scores are quite telling of academic success provided one thing - that the person will try in the class.
  15. ShadowDragon

    ShadowDragon Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jan 25, 2002
    The following are my comments on the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) :

    1. Only 20% of students pass the 10th grade WASL in all subjects, a graduation requirement.

    2. The WASL is privacy-invasive. The company which scans the tests sells psychological evaluations and data to employers.

    3. Correct answers are determined after students' answers are read.

    4. Scores are monitored for frequency of distribution, insuring scores aren't "too low" or "too high."

    5. The tests can't be compared from year to year -- more than half the questions are different, different students have different amounts of time to take the test, scoring is subjective, different populations are included and excluded from the average score -- but they are.

    6. Scorers are temporary workers who don't understand the material.

    7. The situation is misrepresented to the public. The WASL's proponents make it seem as if teachers are not properly doing their job, but Washington students are above the national average.

    8. The WASL wastes both time and money. Teachers are encouraged to teach-to-the-test, and education reform had cost $50 million by 2001, money desperately needed in the classroom.

    9. The test violates the state constitution.
  16. Kuna_Tiori

    Kuna_Tiori Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 20, 2002
    Jello: How nice of you to list all your fantasmic credentials. They have nothing to do with the rest of us.

    My mom thinks that awarding high-scoring schools more money is some kind of reward for the high scores, and that the other schools need to shape up. Well, without money how can they shape up. Then she says that schools don't necessarily need money to shape up, and I walk away unconvinced.

    Anyways, I don't really have a problem with the concept of standardized testing. They're a necessary evil, the "least sucky" solution rather than the best solution. It's the content of the tests that I have problems with.
  17. Talon_Karrde_

    Talon_Karrde_ Jedi Padawan star 4

    Aug 13, 2000
    "...'least sucky' solution rather than the best solution."

    Exactly, there's got to be something better.

    D-'-,-'-,'-,-- Karrde
  18. Kuna_Tiori

    Kuna_Tiori Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 20, 2002
    Well, if there is a better solution to being "equal" than standardized testing, we sure haven't found it yet. [face_plain]
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