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ENC1102 - Topic Guide - BC Online

About Standardized Tests

Standardized testing has played an important role in U.S. education from the debut of “intelligence tests” in the 1920s through the development of aggregated data on student achievement beginning in the late 1960s. With each expansion, standardized testing has drawn criticism about the reliability of the information and its use or potential misuse.” (CQ Researcher)

Helpful Tips

  • Do you think high school students should be required to take a standardized test to receive their diplomas? Why or why not?
  • Some states only include remedial math, such as pre-algebra and geometry, and reading comprehension on exit exams. Other states test students in more subjects, such as biology and government. What do you think are the most important learning areas or skill sets to include on exit exams for high school students?
  • Under the No Child Left Behind Act, states can independently decide what students should be tested on in large-assessment standardized tests. Some education experts have proposed instituting national goals to govern student curriculums across state lines. Do you think it should be left to states to decide what to test students on? Or should exit exams be standardized nationwide?
  • Do you think setting academic standards for each grade helps students? Do you think those standards should be set locally, by state governments, or nationally?
  • How might some standardized tests be harder for students whose first language is not English or students with learning disabilities? Should policy makers hold those students to the same standards as the rest of their class?

Standardized testing


High-stakes tests

Exit exams

Test taking

Educational standards


Common core

No child left behind

Education reform

SAT scores

Topic Pages

Opposing Viewpoints logo

This topic page gives:

  • topic overviews
  • viewpoint essays (pros and cons)
  • academic journal articles
  • statistics
  • primary sources
  • video and audio

and much more!

CQ Researcher logo

This report includes:

  • an introductory overview
  • pro/con debates
  • background information
  • chronology on the topic
  • an assessment of the current situation
  • tables and maps
  • bibliography of key sources

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