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Standardized Testing Writing Guide

Academic writing

Essay paper writing


The use of tests is one of the rational and effective additions to traditional methods of knowledge assessment at different levels of education. Since the 90s, a number of publications about tests in the educational practice have appeared in the literature. Currently, in many countries, there are several centers in which professionals conduct standardized testing research. However, this method remains quite controversial, having a lot of disadvantages that are frequently discussed in various articles, research works, and essays on standardized testing. If you were asked to join the discussion as well, we are here to provide you with the best writing tips and topics ideas for your paper.

Best essay topics

  • Essays on standardized testing: cons and pros
  • Essays about standardized testing and learning disabilities
  • Standardized testing controversy essay
  • Essays on the negative effects of standardized testing
  • Essays about standardized testing and common core
  • Is standardized testing necessary essay
  • Essay on testing in different countries
  • Essays supporting standardized testing
  • Standardized testing has made students unable to write essays
  • Standardized tests are not a fair
  • Essays against standardized testing
  • Standardized tests are worthless
  • Are standardized tests an adequate assessment of student’s academic success?
  • Standardized tests should not be mandatory
  • The effects of standardized tests on students
  • The unfairness of standardized tests
  • Problems of standardized tests
  • Faults of standardized testing


How to write essays about standardized testing?

  • Create an outline. No matter how long your paper is, you can lose the track of thoughts when writing it if you have no plan to follow. An outline will help you stay on track and remind you which points you wanted to discuss next.
  • Mind your vocabulary. You have to be perfectly aware of the meaning of all the words you are putting in your essay. Do not try using fancy words where you can explain something in a simpler way.
  • Refer to your professor’s rubric. Most of professors have a specific grading system, which they send to their students. Examine this document attentively and stick to it throughout the whole writing process.
  • Avoid tautology. Repetitive words and phrases are real essay killers. Use Thesaurus to replace some words with relevant synonyms and remove sentences that sound the same. The less repetitive you are, the more space there will be for an actual discussion.
  • Don’t leave your writing task to the last minute. You may have some problems in the course of writing, which will be impossible to solve if you are really short on time. Besides, you will need to have some time for proofreading.
  • Check out standardized testing essay samples. If you need a better understanding of the way a text should be structured or what language should be used when presenting arguments, checking a few examples should help you.

Standardized testing essay outline

  • Introduction.
    It is very important to write the intro of the essay correctly. This will help you not only to interest the reader but also set the tone for the whole text. If you write something memorable in the first few phrases, you can engage the reader and help them understand the importance of the topic you are discussing. Once you provide enough background information on the topic, finish your introduction with a thesis statement that shows the main arguments of your discussion.
  • Main part.
    This is the most extended and informative part of the whole essay. Each body paragraph will have the same basic structure and relatively the same size. You will have to present one of the arguments from the thesis statement in each paragraph, show factual evidence supporting it, and analyze the information you have written down.
  • Conclusion.
    Finish your essay by listing all the ideas in the final part of the essay. Here, you should restate the thesis and go over the arguments that you have discussed. Finish your essay with some food for thought, overall conclusion, or a rhetorical question.

What types of essay can you choose?

There are various types of essays that can be assigned to students to work on. However, taking into consideration the topic, we would recommend you to focus on the following types:

  • Standardized testing problem solution essay. Everything is quite obvious in this case – you just have to present a problem and propose some workable solutions to it. The topic of standardized testing is really a perfect match for this essay type.  
  • Persuasive essay on standardized testing. The aim of writing such type of paper is to persuade your readers that your opinion is the right one by appealing to logic and facts. For example, if you find this method useless or even harmful, you may write a paper on why standardized testing should be banned.
  • Argumentative essay on standardized testing. Argumentative essay is perhaps one of the most popular kinds of academic writing in schools and universities. This is the paper in which you chose a controversial issue or idea and argue either for or against it using the evidence and arguments.

Research paper topics about standardized testing

If you find yourself lost in various writing ideas, check out our list of topics for a research paper about standardized testing:

  • Academic cheating
  • Major standard testing issues
  • The effect of standard testing procedures on teenager’s mental health
  • Standardized testing problems in the country of choice
  • Standardized testing anxiety
  • Standardized testing for students with ADHD
  • History of standardized testing in the United States research paper
  • Alternatives to standardized testing in schools
  • Standardized assessment tools
  • The problems during standardized tests among language minority students
  • The most and the least efficient standardized testing method



How to write standardized testing research paper

Research papers on standardized testing are quite a difficult task to cope with, as you will need to spend a lot of time researching and analyzing information. If you want to finish it quicker, follow these simple tips:

  • Make a plan. Create an outline that includes the necessary sections of the paper and the description of what will go into each one. This will make the writing process easier as you will have a clear understanding of what you need to write at the moment.
  • Look for good sources for a research paper against standardized testing or for it. There are many scholarly research papers articles on standardized testing on the Web, and it is better to review what both proponents and opponents of the method have to say about it to gain a better understanding of it.
  • Avoid plagiarism. Research paper writing presupposes finding and analyzing a lot of information. That is why, each time you refer to ideas by renowned scientists or just some facts found in articles, always cite them properly. Otherwise, you may face plagiarism issues, which will definitely affect your academic reputation.
  • Mind the audience. There is no need to overexplain terminology if you are writing a research paper that will be read by experts in the field. However, it is best to explain terms that might be unknown to your peers if you are a college student.
  • Properly format your paper. Improper formatting will certainly cost you some points. That is why we would recommend you to clarify what type of formatting is needed once you are assigned the task and find a comprehensive guide to stick to.

Outline for research paper on standardized testing

How to start a research paper on standardized testing? Obviously by creating an outline that you can stick to during the writing process. While we will show you which basic sections to break your text into, consider your topic and your research findings when adding more details to the outline below:

  • Introduction
    • Introductory phrase
    • Background information
    • Standardized testing research paper thesis
  • Main sections
    • Methodology
    • Literature review
    • Findings
    • Discussion of findings
  • Conclusion
    • Restated thesis
    • Overview of the main points
    • Prospects for future research



Advantages of standardized testing

Proponents of standardized tests usually list the following advantages in their works.

  1. It’s efficient

A typical test consists of a series of brief tasks. As a rule, not more than 1 minute is required to cope with each one, and the whole test takes about 1-1,5 hours. At the same time, a group of students is subjected to testing simultaneously, which saves the examiners a lot of time.

  1. It’s reliable

This is, probably, the most important advantage of tests in any educational system. Any comprehensively created test covers the main sections of the curriculum. So, such a method reduces the chances of diligent students to fail if they have profoundly studied the program material.

  1. It’s fair

Fairness in this case should be understood as protection from the bias of the examiner. A good test puts everyone in equal conditions and excludes the so-called “human factor.” The thing is that all the students have equal chances to get good final points if they came prepared. Besides, there is no face-to-face communication between professor and student in this case, so there is no possibility that professor may ask some difficult additional questions.

Disadvantages of standardized testing

The test method has some very serious drawbacks that do not allow educational institutions to accurately assess the level of student’s competency. These are:

  1. The danger of automatic errors

There is a false opinion that test should work correctly in any situation. Such an idea gives rise to mistakes and unpleasant incidents during the tests. For example, there may be some errors in the computer system, which may lead to the wrong result interpretation. That is why educational professionals should not consider the test an errorless system, which should always work properly without any control on the part of the examiner.

  1. Lack of personalized approach

Tests are primarily focused on the standard application of data. In other words, passing a standardized test, student has no opportunity to show their creative skills. Therefore, from the standpoint of identifying creative potential, most of the tests are quite limited.

Facts for your standardized testing essay or research paper

It is always a good idea to include some facts or statistics to make your paper more convincing and professional. We have collected some interesting information for you to use in your work:

  • Tests were first introduced in the end of the XIX - the beginning of the XX centuries, when psychologists tried to find ways to determine the physiological and psychological features of a person.
  • The development and evaluation of tests are carried out by special governmental services. In 1900, the College Entrance Examination Board was established in the United States. In 1926, the College Board adopted the SAT test. Tests for the qualification and professional assessment of the teachers’ activities were developed. Since 1947, there has been an Educational Testing Service, which is responsible for research and development of various test systems, as well as ensuring proper and fair assessment.
  • By 1961, 2126 standardized tests were created in the USA. There are a lot of test publishers, the total output of which is several thousand different tests. Naturally, these tests differ in quality and in demand for them.
  • There are many organizations involved in research on standardized testing. For example, the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (Hamburg), The International Centre for Pedagogical Studies (Sevres), together with the IEA, conducted a joint study on reading skills in 35 countries (1990). In this case, determining the best or worst country was not the purpose of testing. Instead, the purpose was to find the most effective learning conditions.


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