Standardized Testing


Standardized Test Form

Lalia Williams

Starting this week and continuing all the way through next week, our school schedule is interrupted by standardized testing. As of right now, we take what is called AIR tests, but most people who are in high school at this point probably remember having to take some form of state testing every spring since they were in grade school. And this past Saturday morning, many sophomores and juniors piled into the school to take the ACT. Now, peoples’ feelings about this testing are probably dependent on whether they have to actually take any tests or not (as those who do not are able to simply sleep in an extra few hours), but the truth is that they are disruptive (at least to teachers, if no one else) either way. So it is worth it to at least touch on the history and the reasons behind them.

As far as college-related tests go, the first ones began as early as 1900, when the College Entrance Examination Board was established. And during World War I, standardized tests were used to designate people to jobs and services. But it wasn’t until 1926 that the SAT was first administered. At this time, it was still composed mostly of English and math questions. In 1959 the first ACT was given to 75,460 students. Both tests have been growing ever since.

These college-readiness based exams are not exactly the same as the AIR test, the latter of which seem (at least to many students) more pointless, forced, and productive. But overall, it is more of a hassle than a real issue, and while it may be boring, it is apparently necessary.