For kids currently in high school, the news that they’ve taken a huge number of tests probably isn’t surprising (Those bags under your eyes are probably constant reminders). However, I don’t think we all knew just how many exams, tests, and quizzes students have to go through before they make the leap to college. As the LA Times reports, a new study found that, between the years of pre-K and grade 12, students take an average of 112.3 tests, at a rate of approximately eight standardized tests and three formative exams per year.

It’s exhausting just to think about, let alone study for. But the testing life is something students know all too well. The big question is, is it necessary? Michael Casserly, leader of the Great City Schools group, thinks no. “You’ve got different entities at differing levels requiring assessments for purposes that aren’t connected,” he explains. “It just adds up to an incoherent disconnected system.”

It’s no surprise that this study is in the news now. We’re leading up to a big week for U.S. standardized testing with the scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress being released on Wednesday.

It’s also been a hot-button topic for some time, and many are attempting to find a solution to this testing overload. For instance, Obama’s plan calls for tests that are “worth taking,” as well as “high quality” and “time-limited.” This means the tests would be few and far between, because they are comprehensive enough to do their jobs.

While tests are important for measuring learning and progress, too many end up slowing the learning and progress down by taking class time away from students and instigating unnecessary stress. Studies like these are working to make change, and we hope it happens soon.


(Image via Paramount)