Standardized testing is not helping mental health

America’s obsession with standardized tests has done nothing but harm students’ academics and mental health. 

According to the Washington Post, eighth-graders spend an average of 25.3 hours testing and tenth graders receive an average of 10.5 standardized tests a year. Some believe that this helps educators determine the effectiveness of the school. If the school isn’t teaching, the tests reflect that.

 At Kingsway, juniors will finish this year taking a minimum of 13 tests during the 2021-2022 school year. SATs and AP testing, not included in this number pile on even more stress. The school-mandated tests included NJ Start Strong testing in math and English, MAP testing three times in English and math, the PSAT, the NJSLA in math and English, and the NJSLA in science.

Testing hurts the students more than it helps the school. Some students are not good test-takers. Some students are tired or stressed. Standardized tests do not provide a credible metric for measuring student aptitude. Tests also take away from the school day, which takes away time from the students to learn. 

According to one teacher from the Association of Texas Professional Educators, “We cannot rely on data from one test, on one day of the year. Why not use cumulative assessments to collect data throughout the year? Some students do not test well, others get sick on testing day, some are tired, and some just plain don’t care about how they do on their tests. Creating a portfolio of assessments would allow schools to truly see what a student can do without creating a ridiculous amount of stress on all involved. It is time for a change!” Testing is an ineffective way to measure performance. There are too many variables to provide an accurate picture of student aptitude. 

According to the National Library of Medicine, “Between 10 – 40% of all students experience some level of test anxiety, with these rates varying, depending on factors such as gender, race and socioeconomic status” (McDonald, 2010; Segool et al., 2013; von der Embse et al., 2013). It doesn’t make sense to stress out a large sum of students over standardized tests. Mental health is an ongoing issue, especially among teenagers. Testing just puts more and more pressure on students which will make them perform worse.

Standardized tests are ineffective and overly stressful for the students. Students may perform worse because of tests that are supposed to measure how well they are doing. Testing doesn’t even serve the purpose it is intended to. In the crusade to record student performance, standardized tests are driving grades and student morale into the ground.  Schools need to focus more on mental health and less on testing!

Works Cited

Educators, A. of T. P. (1970, January 1). The tornadic effect of standardized testing. Association of Texas Professional Educators. Retrieved May 12, 2022, from 

Standardized Testing Pros and Cons – does it improve education? Standardized Tests. (2022, February 17). Retrieved May 12, 2022, from 

Layton, L. (2015, October 24). Study says standardized testing is overwhelming nation’s public schools. The Washington Post. Retrieved May 12, 2022, from