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"Excellent." — Harper's Magazine. "A controversy has raged for some time over the validity of multiple-choice questions which are overwhelmingly the chief device of the college entrance examinations. The strongest attack on this front is The Tyranny of Testing by Dr. Banesh Hoffmann." — The Wall Street Journal. "It would be a fine thing if this book could be made required re "Excellent." — Harper's Magazine. "A controversy has raged for some time over the validity of multiple-choice questions which are overwhelmingly the chief device of the college entrance examinations. The strongest attack on this front is The Tyranny of Testing by Dr. Banesh Hoffmann." — The Wall Street Journal. "It would be a fine thing if this book could be made required reading for all high school guidance and college admissions officers and committees." — Baltimore Sun. In this classic critique, a mathematician and educator who served for many years as a test consultant to the Westinghouse Annual Talent Search challenges the supremacy of standardized testing. "There is no escaping the testers with their electrical scoring machines," warns author Banesh Hoffmann. "They measure our IQs at regular intervals. They tell admissions officers how many points worth of college aptitude we possess. They classify us en masse in the army. They screen us when we apply for jobs." Hoffmann's complete and well-documented account of the failings and dangers of mechanical testing illustrates the inherent flaws in aptitude and achievement tests. It demonstrates the inadequacies of multiple-choice testing, in which candidates simply choose answers and need not justify their replies, revealing the tests' inclination to reward superficiality rather than subtlety and creativity. Aimed at teachers and others involved in education, this polemic exposes the corporate testing giants whose dubious claims to scientific accuracy shield them from public scrutiny.


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"Excellent." — Harper's Magazine. "A controversy has raged for some time over the validity of multiple-choice questions which are overwhelmingly the chief device of the college entrance examinations. The strongest attack on this front is The Tyranny of Testing by Dr. Banesh Hoffmann." — The Wall Street Journal. "It would be a fine thing if this book could be made required re "Excellent." — Harper's Magazine. "A controversy has raged for some time over the validity of multiple-choice questions which are overwhelmingly the chief device of the college entrance examinations. The strongest attack on this front is The Tyranny of Testing by Dr. Banesh Hoffmann." — The Wall Street Journal. "It would be a fine thing if this book could be made required reading for all high school guidance and college admissions officers and committees." — Baltimore Sun. In this classic critique, a mathematician and educator who served for many years as a test consultant to the Westinghouse Annual Talent Search challenges the supremacy of standardized testing. "There is no escaping the testers with their electrical scoring machines," warns author Banesh Hoffmann. "They measure our IQs at regular intervals. They tell admissions officers how many points worth of college aptitude we possess. They classify us en masse in the army. They screen us when we apply for jobs." Hoffmann's complete and well-documented account of the failings and dangers of mechanical testing illustrates the inherent flaws in aptitude and achievement tests. It demonstrates the inadequacies of multiple-choice testing, in which candidates simply choose answers and need not justify their replies, revealing the tests' inclination to reward superficiality rather than subtlety and creativity. Aimed at teachers and others involved in education, this polemic exposes the corporate testing giants whose dubious claims to scientific accuracy shield them from public scrutiny.

31 review for The Tyranny of Testing

  1. 4 out of 5

    John G.

    I admit, I almost put this book down several times when the author got into too much mind numbing detail about the individual test questions, but I'm glad I powered through. This was book written by a disgruntled insider who knows the tricks of the trade he seeks to expose, so we ca call him a whistle blower if you will. Naturally, the powers that be like to attack when exposed and it's interesting for me to see the author clue us in to the defense tactics. What I take away from this book is tha I admit, I almost put this book down several times when the author got into too much mind numbing detail about the individual test questions, but I'm glad I powered through. This was book written by a disgruntled insider who knows the tricks of the trade he seeks to expose, so we ca call him a whistle blower if you will. Naturally, the powers that be like to attack when exposed and it's interesting for me to see the author clue us in to the defense tactics. What I take away from this book is that the testing experts expect us to defer to the expertise, their statistical evidence and their supposed objective science. This author calls them out on their BS and it is that indeed, they hide behind stats and reputation and discount individual personal judgement. These tests are quite sinister, they reward a very narrow, conformist, standardized form of thinking and that's what I beginning to see really as the hidden purpose of education, uniformity and instilling docile obedience to arbitrary and unprincipled authority. It strikes me as very sad indeed that our educational system has become a giant sorting and screening device and that's what these tests accomplish. My fave statement in the book, "For would not the experiment have demonstrated that the tests were fostering opportunism, conformism, tong-in-cheek cynicism, and intellectual dishonesty?" Yes, Dr. Hoffman, yes they do, maybe these are the exact qualities needed to advance in the corporate and academic worlds and to screen those who don't fit in? Close with a quote from good ol' Noam Chomsky, "The whole educational and professional training system is a very elaborate filter, which just weeds out people who are too independent, and who think for themselves, and who don't know how to be submissive, and so on- because they're dysfunctional to the institutions." Amen!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I'll probably never look at multiple-choice tests the same way again.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Peter Macinnis

  4. 5 out of 5

    Duncan Kountz

  5. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nandlal Narayanan

  7. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Douglas

  8. 5 out of 5

    Peter Geyer

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joe

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michael Cuellar

  11. 4 out of 5

    R

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  13. 5 out of 5

    Joshua

  14. 5 out of 5

    Richard

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rocky

  16. 5 out of 5

    Frank Spencer

  17. 5 out of 5

    António Vinhas

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rúnar

  19. 4 out of 5

    Moataz Harb

  20. 5 out of 5

    Hassan

  21. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

  23. 5 out of 5

    Joan

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jose

  25. 5 out of 5

    Chad

  26. 4 out of 5

    Teri

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ml

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alasdair Ekpenyong

  29. 4 out of 5

    Erik

  30. 5 out of 5

    Arash Ashrafzadeh

  31. 4 out of 5

    Brett

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