What Is the Purpose of Standardized Testing?

purpose-standardized-testing Credit: Official U.S. Navy Page/CC-BY-2.0

The Educational Testing Service defines the purpose of standardized testing as providing a fair assessment that eliminates bias or unfair advantages. This is done to ensure that all test-takers have an equal chance to show ability on the test.

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) lists several purposes of standardized testing. Standardized tests are often used in testing for licenses and certificates, particularly for those administered across a large area (such as a state or country). This is to ensure that a license in one area represents the same level of achievement as the same license in another region.

Standardized tests are also used in admissions procedures to compare applicants from many different backgrounds, states ETS. For instance, the SAT is widely used to compare students, as all students are graded on the same scale and with the same test. Standardized tests are also often used as end-of-course exams to ensure that all students meet the standards required in the course. Standardized tests are often used within local educational institutions (such as school districts or universities) for determining placement or course credit, so as to ensure that students are placed in an appropriate class for their abilities. Work-related standardized tests may be utilized to assist in promotions and placement of new or existing staff.