Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences


Political Science and Law

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Jack Baldwin LeClair

Committee Member

Avram B. Segall

Committee Member

Ariel Alvarez


In recent years, standardized tests have been challenged by many academic scholars, legal journalists, psychologists and scientific researchers. They claim these tests are an arbitrary form of measuring academic success. Across many grade levels, from elementary to graduate school, there has been concern over the efficacy of these tests. Yet, many neglect to consider the benefits of standardized testing and the reasons why they were implemented and continue. Many educational systems have made standardized tests optional to combat issues of regarding arbitrary content, bias and discrimination. Yet, as those pushing for standardized test reform continue to suggest otherwise, there is validity to be found in high-stake assessments such as the SAT or LSAT which happen to be the same assessments that reformists aim to weaken. It is, however, clear that ways need to be found to manage issues created by standardized testing. This work will demonstrate efforts that have contributed to standardized tests’ evolution and the role that they play. Standardized tests serve as a yardstick for applications to institutions. They hold institutions accountable for the quality of the education they provide and how that education prepares students to be academically successful. Is it necessary to modify current statutes pertaining to standardized testing to eliminate elements that are arbitrary, bias and discriminatory? Although some of the proposed assessments presented in this work may be appealing, it is clear that there are many positive attributes to standardized test, as a benchmark for furthering education as well as a quantifiable way to measure the improvement of an education system’s curriculum. What may well be considered the focal issue regarding standardized testing is whether politicians should move toward further regulations and modifications of standardized testing.

File Format