Some pupils extremely anxious over standardised tests, agree three in four teachers

Some pupils extremely anxious over standardised tests, agree three in four teachers

Three out of four primary teachers agree that some primary school pupils felt extremely anxious about standardised tests.

The claims are part of a new study, which also found differing opinions on whether the tests were a valid way of measuring achievement.

A report by the Institute of Education at DCU and the primary teachers union, INTO, got the opinions of 1,500 primary school teachers about standardised tests such as the Drumcondra test.

Schools are required to facilitate the maths and reading tests in second, fourth and sixth class.

The research was undertaken by Professor Michael O'Leary from DCU's Institute of Education who said the tests act as a benchmarker.

"The big advantage of standardised assessments is that they allow schools and teachers to benchmark performance in an individual class and in an individual school against national standards," said Prof. O'Leary.

A number of teachers reported pupils feeling anxious about the tests, which retired principal Frank Shortt says it might be because some parents are taking them seriously.

"Maybe different schools need to just talk to parents at the start of the school year...and say exactly what this is for," said Mr Shortt.

"It's not put on some national database."

It also recommends changing the timing of the tests from the Summer to Autumn as a way of alleviating pressure.

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