Application of the SAT test later extended to evaluation for entry into colleges and universities, becoming popular among the institutions. The tests are however not limited to application for entry purposes into colleges and universities, as use of common standards in the education curriculum requires standardized tests for evaluating students. While standardized testing may offer a basis for evaluation, consideration of such factors as disabilities and special needs undermine the equal opportunity concept. Disparities in environmental factors are also threats to standardized tests. A study, for example, noted that students may perform poorly in a standardized test that is developed in a foreign environment with such factors as language barriers being significant (Wood, Eichner-LeFrank, Wood, S., and Braus, n.d.).
Standardized tests are used to evaluation students’ intelligence for grading and comparison with other students. While need for equal opportunities is one of the reasons for standardized tests, allowing for evaluation on the same baseline, differences in potentials, some of which may be induced by natural factors, undermine the fairness objective. Relative significance of the factors to performance in mathematics identifies the need to understand effectiveness of standardized tests in understanding students’ potentials in mathematics. Mathematics, according to Claro, Cabello, San Martin, and Nussbaum (2015), is more sensitive to environmental factors than reading is and this suggests difference in effectiveness of standard tests between the two. Economic, social, and cultural statuses, among students from Chile, have greater effects on mathematics skills than on reading skill and this means that the factors influences effectiveness of standardized tests for mathematics among the students and others. Students with similar level of competence in ...Show more