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Standardized tests have value for professionals

Tuesday April 30, 2002

To the Editor: 

I am sympathetic to the many teachers who have argued against standardized tests. However, I should like to point out that large groups of professionals that we all need and mostly trust are the products of systems replete with standardized tests – namely physicians and nurses.  

As a physician I took a standardized test to get into Medical School (the MCAT). To get my license I took three standardized national tests at various places along my training and would not be able to get a license anywhere without having passed these . As a specialist I have taken a standardized test every ten years in my field and would not be able to practice without such a test. 

And as a teacher of medical students it is helpful to me to know that my interns and residents have all passed certain tests and have the same core of knowledge that I can count on.  

Naturally we want our doctors to be tested and certified. This tells us that we can rely on a certain amount of knowledge on their part. 

And so I ask, if it works for doctors (and of course other professionals) why does it not work for students in high school?  


- Gessica Johnston