School administrators and workplace human resources departments alike weigh standardized testing pros and cons prior to implementing this type of performance measurement. Although it is given that no performance measure is completely value-neutral, there are strong feelings about standardized tests in particular. Making the decision to adopt this type of gauge in your company should come only after being clear about the possible pitfalls.
Apply uniform expectations. When discussing standardized testing pros and cons, the fact that the expectations are ageless, colorblind and ethnically unbiased is a huge point in favor of these measurements. Workers can be compared one to another based on performance and knowledge only, which greatly decreases allegations of racial preferences or gender biases. Concurrently, these uniform standards help meet minimum entrance requirements into a company or position, which makes hiring decisions—or promotions—a lot simpler.
Tailor expectations to a target group. On the other side of the equation is the suggestion that the tests are formulated with a target demographic in mind. Thus, while standardized testing pros and cons clearly favor the apparent lack of bias when tallying results, the argument falls flat when considering that questions and answers favor those of a certain background. Therefore, it stands to reason that anyone outside the target demographic will be effectively screened out.
Identify areas of needed improvement. A welcome advantage is the quick and easy identification of problem areas with the help of standardized testing. Pros and cons might focus on fairness overall, but with respect to results, there is little doubt that the exams are fair. In the classroom in particular, this type of testing gives educators and parents the ability to pinpoint learning deficits they need to address.
Change from learner to test subject. The biggest problem mentioned when discussing standardized testing pros and cons is the fact that the learner ceases to take in data for personal development and instead only assimilates it to regurgitate it again. There is little personal growth. In fact, much of the information is forgotten as soon as the test is over.
There is no easy answer when weighing standardized testing pros and cons. In plenty of settings they provide a fair and equitable opportunity for advancement; even so, in the educational system in particular, they tend to sell short the learners.