Views #1507 | Intermediate 6

Standardized Tests

Two college students compare the testings systems of their countries of Norway and Canada.


Gyri: So what is your opinion on standardized tests?

Viyasan: Standardized tests. Yeah, I've done quite a few standardized tests in Canada. In elementary school, we have the EQAO, so that's English, math, and I think literacy skills as well. But they have standardized tests that all elementary students do in grades three, in grade six, and grade nine. It depends. I think they're a good way to measure nationwide the skill of your students; for example, they do it every single year and when they do do that, you're able to see and track, okay, maybe in 2007 students had a 67% accuracy on their math test but maybe in 2009 it improved to 73%. So you can see that the quality of education is rising, and your students are able to grasp a lot more knowledge that they're taught in the classrooms. So I think if you're able to track it year by year, it's very good to see the quality of education and how students are understanding information that are taught in classrooms.

Gyri: Yeah, so the statistics are useful.

Viyasan: Yeah.

Gyri: But how does it affect you as an individual?

Viyasan: So I think that for career prospects and just generally for life and what you wanna do, and what your interests lie in, most people don't find those tests very useful. Although some of the information you do need for general life after school. Some people might not perform well on tests. I've had a couple of friends who just weren't interested in taking tests, didn't try very hard for their tests, and just didn't care very much about it, and would rather spend their time and energy on other things they like outside of the classroom. For example, maybe music, maybe in martial arts. They'd spend a lot more time in those areas rather than practicing those skills needed to perform well on those tests. So I guess it really depends on yourself and how you feel about taking tests. So there's some good things about it and of course there's some downsides to standardized tests. But what's your take Gyri? Does Norway have standardized tests?

Gyri: No, I don't think so. I'm not familiar with the term really. I remember in grade school we had these nationwide tests that everyone got but I don't think we ever got the results, they only used it to, for the statistics, to see how well the Norwegian population was learning. But in high school and junior high we never had those. I don't think, and not in college either. So yeah, I'm just not familiar with it.

Viyasan: So would you like to take a standardized test and see where you gauge?

Gyri: Well, they sound scary. They do, tests are scary always, I think but ... Yeah, I'm glad we don't have them in Norway.

Viyasan: So that's interesting because we're both university students. I had to take a lot of tests to get into college and university. How is it like in Norway, how do you get into college if you don't take any standardized tests?

Gyri: You just apply and some of the degrees that you're applying for you need higher grades from high school.

Viyasan: Okay.

Gyri: So we do have, we do get grades in high school. So these ... You have to have high grades to get into medicine, and law school, and all that. But a lot of the universities, or the degrees at the universities, they just take in the first people that apply.

Viyasan: Okay.

Gyri: Yeah. But it depends on the degree.

Viyasan: That's very similar, in Canada we have the same thing where in high school you submit your grades to certain top classes that you would like to pursue. For example, if you wanna go to business school you would submit your business courses, your math courses. But if you wanted to go to art school you would probably have to submit different art classes and show a portfolio.

Gyri: Oh, okay.

Viyasan: And so it's very interesting to see the different dynamic between what you have to submit and how it's graded. That's very cool.

Gyri: Yeah. We have all our grades in high school, all the different grades get ... Ugh, what's it called? I'm sorry. The ...

Viyasan: The average?

Gyri: Yeah, the average!

Viyasan: Got it.

Gyri: The average of our grades from high school is what we use. So I think that what you were saying that you only used the business related subjects if you wanna go to business school, that sounds actually a lot smarter than what we do in Norway. 'Cause you don't need to be good at math or a language to get into art school, for example, but they use all the grades from high school to determine if you can get in.

Viyasan: Got it, got it.

Gyri: At most schools, at least.

Viyasan: Yeah, that sounds pretty interesting.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson

standardized test


I've done quite a few standardized tests in Canada.

A standardized test is a test that is consistent for everyone that takes it. Notice the following:

  1. Most countries make their students take standardized tests.
  2. The TOEFL and IELTS are both standardized tests.



They're a good way to measure nationwide the skill of your students.

Here, nationwide means across the entire country. This suffix can be applied to other words, such as countrywide, citywide, and statewide. Notice the following:

  1. This food chain has stores nationwide.
  2. The election is held nationwide on the 5th of November.



You're able to track it year by year.

When you track something, you keep a record of its progress. The phrase, to keep track of, has the same meaning. Notice the following:

  1. If you send a package, you can track it online.
  2. When people are on a diet, they keep track of their weight daily.

interests lie


what your interests lie in

The phrase, where your interests lie, refers to things you are interested in. Notice the following:

  1. His interestes do not lie with the company.
  2. So, where do your interests lie?



take a standardized test and see where you gauge?

When you gauge something, you measure it and compare it to other data. Notice the following:

  1. Students often compare scores to see where they gauge.
  2. I took the IQ test to see where I gauge in society.

got it


Got it, got it.

Here, got it just means I see or I understand. Notice the following:

  • We use this software to analyze data in our reports.
  • Got it!

Vocabulary Quiz

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Answer the following questions about the interview.

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