Standardized Tests That We Use in Education

Standardized tests are used in the education system and play a crucial role in the development of children nationwide. Students are given tests so that educators can understand their education level. For instance, if your child was falling behind in class and not at the level of the other students, the standardized test could help identify this quicker. Of course, it depends on the child and how they perform on the day.

So, what standardized tests are used in education today?

The Stanford Achievement Test

You might know this as the S.A.T. 10 test. This is used worldwide to assess reading comprehension, language skills, listening, social science, math, science, and problem-solving. It’s vast but quite important for children everywhere. Of course, with the mandate of the No Child Left Behind Act, this test has become less utilized. This remains very important, and similar tests have been modeled on S.A.T. 10.

The International Baccalaureate Exam

Typically, the International Baccalaureate Exam is used in mainstream Europe. It does, however, have a crucial rule for students in the U.S.A. It tests students on I.B. education and, in some instances, can be used instead of S.A.T. examinations. Students can get college credit in many subjects with this test too.

The Common Core State Testing

Core subjects, such as math and reading, are often the focus of standardized tests. The Common Core State Testing examination, however, expands further. For instance, this test calls for core subjects (reading and math) to be standardized along with economics, physical education, foreign languages, and arts. It’s a major test that K-12 students will experience; however, these test results help teachers evaluate students and create better funding and education policies.

It’s not a test that should be dismissed so easily.

The STAR Tests

K-12 students will often be given STAR tests. They were created for K-12 education and are unique in many instances. These tests use adaptive and computer technology. Teachers use the tests to evaluate math, reading, and literacy. These tests can prepare students for crucial tests and monitor their progress.

The TerraNova

K-12 students are given the TerraNova test to assess their knowledge of science, social studies, reading, math, arts, spelling, vocabulary, and other such things. It is a series of tests used by the DoD (Department of Defense), along with many states in the U.S.

The Learning Record and Work Sampling System

Student assessments are becoming more innovative, and this test doesn’t follow the traditional examination. Instead, the Learning Record and Work Sampling System focus on the student’s work in the classroom. This is how progress is measured, and it’s useful because tests sometimes cause a student to panic and make basic mistakes they wouldn’t make

Some would say it’s better to analyze a student’s progress. You look at their coursework throughout the year and not just rely on one test. It’s an innovative way to balance things and make education fairer.

The P.A.R.C.C. and S.B.A.C. Tests

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers are trying to change standardized testing in the United States today. These tests are new and given on a computer, so students need to have basic computer skills to complete the test. These are unique tests, however, as they often require problem-solving and research. Of course, multiple choice questions are still present on the tests.

The New York Performance Standards Consortium Test

There is a consortium of 28 public high schools, and they use a different system to evaluate their students. The New York Performance Standards Consortium Test focuses on performance assessments rather than the traditional standardized tests. Students are tasked with science experiments, essay writing, and more. It’s a unique way to review a student’s progress, and many schools in the program have seen a reduction in dropout rates.

There has been a greater number of students enrolling in college also.

Post-Secondary Standardized Tests

Some schools do things quite differently, which might mean A.C.T. and S.A.T. test scores aren’t given much credit. Fortunately, other standardized tests can help you start a new career or get into higher education.

The WorkKeys

Many students believe that since they aren’t going to enroll in college, standardized tests don’t matter. However, many will still help you when starting in the workplace. The WorkKeys is used in colleges and high schools to assess the workplace skills of a student. It can help students find potential careers that suit their skills or highlight areas they need to improve on.

The A.P. Exams

34 A.P. courses currently exist, and students can enroll in these courses to earn college credit. Typically, these courses are affordable and allow students to learn. There are exams at the end of the course, but if you pass them, you earn valuable credit. You could graduate early, and A.P. exams are versatile as they range across almost every subject imaginable.

The S.A.T. Subject Tests

Colleges want students that contribute and stay on until graduation, and many use S.A.T. to assess a potential student’s achievement. Of course, S.A.T. scores do not guarantee a place at any college or university, regardless of how high you score. However, these scores help showcase the best of the student and which areas they excel in, such as math and English.

Standardized Tests for Graduate School

If you want to move on to graduate school, many standardized tests can determine your admission.

The V.C.A.T.

The Veterinary College Admission Test (V.C.A.T.) is designed for those who want to become vets. This test evaluates chemistry and biology knowledge, quantitative reasoning, reading, and verbal skills.


Regardless of the graduate school you want to attend, you will likely need to take the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) test. It evaluates verbal reasoning skills, analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, and critical thinking skills. While each graduate school has its policies on GRE scores, it can be crucial for many graduates.


This test is built for those who want to become a doctor. It’s a crucial test for those who want to go to medical school and focuses on a student’s critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. Of course, additional tests may be required, depending on the field you wish to specialize in. For instance, P.C.A.T. (Pharmacy College Admission Test) is designed for pharmacists and technicians. D.A.T. (Dental Admission Test) is designed for those who wish to move into dentistry, and O.A.T. (Optometry Admission Test) is for those moving into optometry.


For those who want to move on to law school, the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) is a crucial examination to sit. This test evaluates your reading comprehension, reasoning, and logic. Any lawyer or attorney will need to sit this exam before they’re admitted to law school.

The Professional Tests

Professional Tests are typically for those who need to be certified as a professional in their chosen field. You would take the Professional Tests once you’ve graduated or are about to graduate. There are many tests, including:

  • The Bar Examination
  • The Fundamentals of Engineering Exam
  • U.C.P.A. Exam
  • N.C.L.E.X.
  • The United States Medical Licensing Examination

These tests prove you are proficient in being a licensed professional.

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