Student wants to learn, not just to pass a test

December 14, 2012 

All across the world there is standardized testing. I am 13 and in eighth grade at a private, independent middle school. One reason that I originally wanted to go there was that there was no standardized testing. However, last year, they started having standardized tests for sixth-graders.

I took these tests in third and fifth grade, and I remember teachers saying all year long “remember this; it might be on the WASL.” This is an example of the commonly used phrase “teaching to the test.”

If you are only teaching kids what they need to know for the test, they will only learn what is on the test and, speaking from experience, those tests are not going to help you much in the real world.

However, as someone who doesn’t currently take standardized tests, I’m a little worried. Next year, I will be in high school. My friends in high school who used to go to my school often say that high school is very easy. Maybe that’s because they are teaching to the test.

I’m not saying all teachers do this, but many probably do. I want to learn, not pass a test. When I go to high school, will I still have this privilege? samia saliba Olympia

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