Effects of Standardized Tests on Higher Education Research Paper

  • Length: 5 pages
  • Sources: 5
  • Subject: Education
  • Type: Research Paper
  • Paper: #58439851

Excerpt from Research Paper :


Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is standardized exams completed by many high school students before heading to college. Therefore, it contains a suite of tools designed to assess a student's academic readiness for college. Through the students SAT scores, some colleges determine the students they wish to admit and those they will not. Some colleges use SAT "cutoff score" in setting their benchmark for admission or in determining course placement. Moreover, SAT provides students with a path to opportunities, scholarship, and financial support in a fair way to all students. However, colleges also consider other factors such as an individual's work experience, high school grades, student essays and volunteerism. In the 21st century, SAT exam is still in use because they keep pace with what today's colleges are looking for, which includes measuring the student's skills required for the modern times. SAT tests one's reading, math and writing knowledge as they are taught daily in high school classrooms.

ACT exam is administered internationally to universities and colleges evaluate their candidates for undergraduate studies. English, reading, mathematics, science, and optional essays are the major tested areas. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is admissions test used widely for graduate and business school programs. Therefore, GRE is used for admissions decisions for all types of master's, MBA, doctoral programs, specialized master's in business and for awarding fellowships. GRE tests are known to measure verbal reasoning, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing skills.

The area of college admissions was first carried out by Broome in his work, "A Historical and Critical Discussion of College Admission Requirements," that was first published in 1903. He described the whole process of college admissions at Harvard College during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He acknowledged them as the story of entrance requirements and admission procedures. It was during this period that prospective American college and university students examined their background, character, and their demonstrated proficiency in both Latin and Greek (Beale, 2012). In the eighteenth century, an added requirement to admissions was a working knowledge of arithmetic. In the 1900s, changes occurred in the admission requirements, which were in the direction of the greater insistence of completing a four-year course in high school. Moreover, greater flexibility in the standards of admission was experienced. As for the 1930s and 1940s, admission requirements were based on ability. Between 1949 and 1959, increased interest in standardized examinations was witnessed. Regional and national associations sponsored the exams. In the 60s, development in college admissions had a great emphasis on environmental and non-intellective factors. As such, universities became aware of the need to ensure that admitted students had a full range of talent (Beale, 2012).

Question 2

Standardized exams have become an issue because not everyone can take the exams and perform well. On this issue, we see a test-optional movement emerging in the United States to respond to the criticism made on standardized admissions tests. Research indicates that these tests are inadequate and use potentially biased measures of postsecondary promise (Belasco, Rosinger & Hearn, 2014). Students are different, and their educational backgrounds vary: they are bound to perform differently. In most instances, students do not like taking exams and therefore, they will perform poorly because they have diverged interests when it comes to taking tests. For most of them, they associate tests with difficult instances in life and therefore, their negative attitude towards the exams has led many to fail. Lack of concentration during the preparation period is another issue that has risen, and thus, many students are not prepared enough to take the test and pass. Nonetheless, it is the duty of educators to instill in students a positive attitude because the standardized exams are helpful tools when it comes to gauging the IQ of students. As such, the tests give an educator a better perspective on what to do for the student to help them in improving their weak areas.

Question 3

SAT/ACT/GRE remains to be an integral part of college admission process because it is a fair and valid predictor of first-year college success for all students, regardless of their race, gender or socio-economic status. These requirements have given students the opportunity to demonstrate their preparedness to enter college despite having inconsistent grading systems in high schools countrywide. Moreover, SAT gives students the ability to apply their high school knowledge to problem-solved issues, which are critical skills to…

Sources Used in Document:

Reference List:

Anderson, T., & Shattuck, J. (2012). Design-Based Research a Decade of Progress in Education Research? Educational Researcher, 41(1), 16-25.

Beale, A. V. (2012). The Evolution of College Admission Requirements. Journal of College Admission, 214, 20-22.

Belasco, A. S., Rosinger, K. O., & Hearn, J. C. (2014). The Test-Optional Movement at America's Selective Liberal Arts Colleges a Boon For Equity Or Something Else? Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 0162373714537350.

Ioannidis, J. P., Greenland, S., Hlatky, M. A., Khoury, M. J., Macleod, M. R., Moher, D., & Tibshirani, R. (2014). Increasing Value and Reducing Waste in Research Design, Conduct, and Analysis. The Lancet, 383(9912), 166-175.

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