The Negative Impact of MAP Testing


Tailor georg

Junior Kyle DeLeon, Photo by Tailor Georg

Mia Perez, Editor

With the start of a new semester, MAP testing will once again commence next week, pulling students from their regular schedule to take an exam in each of their core classes. While the standardized test is intended to determine how well students understand the curriculum of each class, the surge of testing this year poses more of a burden to their mental health while simultaneously limiting class time, resulting in lower scores and student self-assurance.

The school district should reconsider its affiliation with the MAP program as it is not beneficial toward the preparation for end of course or college entrance exams and does more harm to the student body than good. 

Once students notice the urgency the school district places on each MAP exam, they will begin to heavily internalize that each isolated test score defines them as a scholar and their understanding of an entire subject. This mindset is detrimental to the motivation to actually learn the material they are presented with, which can, in turn, discourage students from trying to do well on the actual end of course or college entrance exams. Rather than instilling the idea that constant testing is the way to define where a student stands in their understanding, schools should give students time to digest and properly understand the curriculum instead of indirectly encouraging them to cram in knowledge solely based on what they will be tested on. 

Another resulting mindset from over-testing resides on the complete opposite of the spectrum – carelessness. With every unweighted placement test, a student may lose the sense of urgency that comes with test taking. This was observed from last year’s EOC exam where many students failed to show up or complete the exam. Because of this, their scores were inaccurate to their level of understanding and were not a reliable indicator of what steps should be taken to enrich the student body’s education moving forward. Administering MAP testing will result in the same outcomes and fail to solve any problem stemming from failing results. 

School districts across the state have taken these desperate measures to recover from the alarming failing rates it suffered last year. In doing so, they have introduced helpful solutions such as mandatory tutoring, longer lunch breaks, and counseling corners. However, what the school district fails to realize is that students were failing because their regular in-class learning was interrupted. By pulling students out of class for placement tests, the school district is continuing the cycle that led to the student body’s downfall in the first place. Regardless of the intention, students cannot be expected to do well on every standardized test whenever they hardly have any time between each one to study the material in a learning environment rather than a weighted one.

There are plenty of ways to measure how well a student understands the course material of their classes, and they are practiced everyday in the classroom and in tutoring through projects, lectures, and essays. It’s possible to encourage academic growth among the student body without frequent testing.