As the American education system continues to place more emphasis on standardized testing to measure academic achievement, critics have argued that it can be more harmful than helpful to studentsā€™ development in the long run. Here are some of the pros and cons of standardized testing:


  • Every student measured against same narrow, irrelevant set of standards
  • Holds teachers personally accountable for success of large, monolithic testing organizations
  • Western tradition of critical thinking best embodied in bubble-sheet format
  • Keeps students quiet for upwards of 90 minutes
  • Repeated testing carefully develops teachersā€™ cheating skills
  • Only biased against kids who couldnā€™t afford college anyway
  • Data. More data.


  • There are easier ways to measure parentsā€™ income
  • Takes up time that could be used to teach toward additional standardized tests
  • Standardized testā€“scoring machines kill and maim more than 200 workers annually
  • Allows U.S. students to be compared with those of other developed nations
  • Fails to measure attractiveness, which will have far greater impact on future success or failure
  • Students may in fact become too prepared for future
  • Probably could be more profitable