My Topic: My topic throughout this semester was about the overall ineffectiveness of standardized tests. My topic included the impact that standardized tests have on students, teachers, and school districts from middle school levels to the the college level.
My Essays: My first essay was a definition essay where I decided to touch on the extensive history and current implementation of standardized testing. Based on this information I then described how these specified topic affected modern-day students, teachers, and schools in the United States. I decided to write a definition essay in this manner because most people truly do not understand the true meaning of a standardized test, despite having to take them in their daily lives.
My second essay was a rebuttal essay that sought to provide an argument against Nathan Kuncel and Paul Sackett of the Wall Street Journal’s “The Truth About the SAT and ACT.” I made the claims that standardized testing has no true connection to real-world success, common alternatives such as letters of recommendation and interviews remain useful, and the tests create a divide between socioeconomic classes. I found each of these claims to be important because the author’s of the article provided loosely developed information that was very misleading to both students and educators alike.
My last essay was a proposal essay where I was finally able to provide a possible solution to the problem that I have extensively wrote about throughout the semester. My proposal would allow the U.S. federal government to enact a law to regulate colleges and institutions of higher learning which receive funding from the taxpayers. These institutions would have to remove the standardized testing requirement for admissions and instead implement a whole-person approach to select their applicants. My thought behind writing this was that no student should be so heavily judged by a single score that is ineffective in selecting applicants when they could have so much more to offer.
My Research Methods: After our initial database assignment in this class, I was able to find a large amount of articles and journals on my topic. I found it easy to enter specific keywords regarding my essay’s thesis into the ProQuest database. Outside of the database I often looked for credible articles on the web including the Wall Street Journal, official college websites, and the National Education Association. These articles were extremely helpful in providing the different information, evidence, and studies that were needed to back up my claims. Another important research method was speaking to fellow classmates on the topic of standardized testing. It was easy for me to understand and a gain a new perspective that my topic plays a role not just in my life but in the lives of other college students.
Sources: Some essential articles that helped pave the way for my research are shown below:
Final Details/Observations: Beginning this semester, I really did not understand all the ins and outs regarding the role standardized tests play in our society. As a student I only knew that I was required to take them throughout my educational career and the general notion was that you have to perform well on them to be successful. After this semester and the variety of research I sought out, I found that standardized tests are a truly controversial topic. My eyes were opened to a unique perspective where states and colleges alike are joining the trend to remove standardized testing requirements. I found that my topic is extremely widespread and the problems present in the United States are actually shared on a global scale. I personally feel that students are unique and a standardized test should not define their diversity. and their abilities.