State Testing

State Testing

Giuliana Carmosino

Standardized testing in progress…

It is no surprise to any individual that there has always been much controversy when it comes to state standardized testing. Controversy as to whether or not it is beneficial or not, and whether it is a true test of how good a student is in their academic abilities. Let’s talk about some of the most well known controversies surrounding state testing, as well as some famous tips and tricks that can be used while in a testing situation that could potentially help you achieve a higher score. 

Tips and Tricks

State testing can be very long and challenging, and it can cause lots of stress on an individual. Studying can oftentimes be hard and patience can run very thin while taking a 4-hour long test. Some of these tests, such as the ACT and the SAT hold lots of pressure on a student’s academic success and future. Having a strategy while approaching a standardized test can be crucial. Here is a list of tips and tricks that may help a student have a better outcome during state testing. 

  • Read through the full question carefully
  • Answer the easiest questions first
  • Answer the question before reading the answers provided
  • Eliminate the obvious wrong choices
  • Consider all the answer choices before choosing a final answer
  • Carefully read passage introductions and instructions
  • Highlight key points in long questions and passages
  • Pace yourself
  • If you have time left over, review and check your answers

All of these tips and tricks can lead to success in a classroom setting while taking standardized tests.

Popular Controversies

Many state that state testing scores are not reliable measurements of student achievement. However, without these standardized tests, policy makers would have to strictly rely on tests that are scored by individual schools, which can be different levels of difficulty and can have biased results and grading systems. The multiple-choice tests that are given to students as standardized tests are graded by machines, therefore, they are not subject to subjectivity or bias from a human grader. There is also a huge controversy as to the stress that standardized testing causes severe stress in younger students, and if that stress is worth it just to get state testing scores. Do you think it is worth it to stress out students just to take a 4-hour test for state results? 


Although there is information everywhere stating that state testing is bad and needs to be stopped, there are a handful of pros that can be seen within the world of state testing. State testing is a very handy tool to track student progress over the years and see if they are improving are not in these certain areas tested. All students are also given the exact same exam, which enables there to be no question of fairness as the students are graded on the same scale and the same test taken. Standardized testing is consistent across all the schools and school systems, which allows for policy makers to keep teachers nationwide on track. These tests are also thought to have helped students create better study habits, which can set them up for success while deciding to continue their education beyond high school. 


There are many cons that surround the idea of state testing, the main one being that one test cannot sufficiently tell a student’s knowledge. Say that a student has a bad testing day, that test score sticks with them and will go towards their academic tracking system. Poor test results can lead to low student self-esteem and can make a student feel less worthy in the classroom. Low testing scores on one singular test can determine whether or not you get into a good college. Although colleges nowadays are not requiring students to submit ACT or SAT scores, that does not mean that all colleges are like that. Some colleges still request students to enter in these scores. You can be the most academically successful student but choke on these high stake tests, and your future can be damaged because of that one singular test. These tests are hard to gage because the individuals can potentially be on different levels in their learning. Some students may know more on certain topics than others due to them being in higher classes. This gives them advantages because they will be able to have a better shot at getting the higher questions correct. Another huge con is that standardized tests cannot effectively cater to all learning styles. Maybe you are a hands-on learner, or potentially a visual learner, maybe even an auditory learner. These state tests do not think of the different learning styles, they are just strictly looking for the score at the end of it, in order to make policy makers happy. 

State and standardized testing will always have a huge stigma around them as if they are beneficial or hurtful to students. There will never be a clear answer as to whether or not these tests are good measures of academic knowledge of individual students, however, this will not stop standardized testing in the future.