The Student Voice of Holy Innocents' Episcopal School

Crimson & Gold

Do Standardized Tests Measure Intelligence?

Staff writers weigh in.

Sarah Schmidt and Will Peters

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Will Peters: Yes

Standardized tests measure a student’s aptitude to succeed in higher education. While many students find themselves successful on these test, others find themselves struggling and questioning their intelligence. This brings up the age old question as to whether or not standardized tests actually measure ability. In short, standardized tests undoubtedly test student’s aptitude and intelligence.

Standardized tests are an excellent way to gage student’s abilities in many different fields. Today the ACT and SAT rule the roost as the most prevalent college entrance exams. These tests examine student’s abilities in math, science, english, and vocabulary. These subjects are crucial in determining intelligence and ability to work effectively. If students achieve high scores on these subjects they will definitely be able to do well in college. The accurate ability to test math, science, and english skills is virtually unrivaled by any other tests. There really is no other way to test students accurately and efficiently besides standardized testing. Through tests like the SAT and ACT, students can quickly know how they compare to other students across the country and world.

In college and in the workplace, intelligence is measured by success and effectiveness. If a student can study for and do well on standardized tests, they have proven that they have the intelligence and skills to succeed in other acts of life. While standardized tests may not be completely comprehensive, they undoubtedly give a great view of the student’s capabilities and intelligence on a greater scale. Unfortunately for those against standardized tests, they are an effective and widespread way to test a growing America and will likely be here for many years more. The best thing to do is to keep studying hard and working on your abilities and succeed on the tests. IN doing this students can take advantage of the the ability these tests have to help students get into and succeed in college.

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Sarah Schmidt: No

Standardized testing, whether it’s the SAT, or ACT, is not an accurate representation of your intelligence. The process of overcrowding students into a room and asking them to sit in a seat for five hours while completing a test that is said to “make or break” one’s college dreams… Would you want that one test to be the factor that measures your intelligence? I definitely would not.

Today, these two tests cover sections in reading, grammar, writing, math and specifically on the ACT, science. This brings up the first weakness within these standardized tests, being that they completely disregard subjects within the high school curriculum. For example, history is not mentioned in the slightest on these exams whereas english and advanced mathematics are tremendously highlighted. Along with the subject of history, this test fails to take into account students’ extracurricular activities and talents including but not limited to art, music and business.

If you truly think about it, these tests do not give you the opportunity to express yourself in a creative way, but rather it tests you on what you are able to memorize. These tests are typically taken by students in the middle of their junior year or beginning of their senior year, which are two of the most stressful years in high school. They are filled with challenging classes such as AP’s and the padding of resumés with service, leadership roles and awards. It seems unfair to ask students to focus on studying for these standardized tests as if the rest of their life depends on it, while also demanding immaculate grades in their school courses, as well a bible-length list of extra curriculars.

While some may believe these tests are acceptable and needed because of the information they provide for colleges, they fail to realize that the subjects illustrated are not the only ones needed in life and therefore it is not an accurate representation of the students intelligence as a whole.

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The Student Voice of Holy Innocents' Episcopal School
Do Standardized Tests Measure Intelligence?