Testing Time Hinders Learning

Not only do standardized tests not help students learn, the excessive time it takes to prepare and take tests actually hinders student's ability to learn. Time that could be spent on other subjects that are not tested by the tests is often denied (Butler). Teachers are often forced to do less debate and problem solving in their classes because of the time that must be spent preparing for standardized tests (Wagner). Such debate and problem solving activities are vital to survival in the real world. Perhaps more so than arithmetic and grammar that most standardized tests test (Delisle). In Japan, where typical standardized tests are at the center of educational focus, students do poorly on tests that measure problem solving ability (Butler). Mary Smith at Arizona State University conducted a study in which she found that elementary schools spend and average of 100 hours, or three to four weeks of school preparing for tests (Wagner). Another study conducted by the University of Colorado found that of 100 schools, 68% of teachers did test preparation "throughout the year". (Wagner). Teachers from a school in New York were sent a memo from their principal telling them to stop teaching social studies and science in order to free up time for test preparation ("School Under Fire"). Too much time is spent on preparing for standardized tests. Subjects that are not taught, such as Social Studies and Science as a result of this are often not given the complete focus they need. Therefore, standardized tests should not be used as widely as they are because they take instruction time away from other, just as important subjects that may not be tested.

Previous | Next

Back to the Main Page

How to Contact the author