The Communicator

Is taking non-prescribed drugs on standardized tests right?

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T here are only ten minutes left in the test . The clock is ticking and a student gets distracted, thinking more about the sound than the problem. Another person stays focused because they took their friend’s ADD medication earlier that morning.
Is that fair?
According to the National Institutes of Health, when taken in small amounts, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) medication is proven to boost alertness and concentration in everyone. The medication is a stimulant which works by imitating the neurotransmitter that controls our concentration levels, dopamine.
Standardized testing companies have no rule stating that the use of non-prescribed prescription drugs is illegal, although it is a federal offense to take over the counter medication illegally.

Everybody should have the same opportunities to succeed. Despite the fact that people come into the test with different backgrounds, nobody should be able to have an advantage while taking it.

Everybody should have the same opportunities to succeed. Despite the fact that people come into the test with different backgrounds, nobody should be able to have an advantage while taking it.

But think about this: It’s October, the first major testing month. Thousands of kids across the country are studying with tutors and thousands more cannot afford to. Would it make the test more fair if the low-income kid, who couldn’t
afford the tutor, took a stimulant?
Some say yes. They are hurting no
one but themselves. Others disagree.
Standardized testing’s purpose is to show your intellectual performance level. Stimulants impair this rating. The score is a key component of the application process and you are simply telling schools that you are smarter.

It is similar to professional sports. A player on steroids cannot achieve the yardage he gets without taking the steroid. It is much the same with stimulants. If you get a 2400 on the SAT taken with the aid of stimulants, you could not have gotten that score without them. Therefore, like the player does not deserve the glory of his touchdown run, you do not deserve the acceptance.
It also involves morals. Besides, shouldn’t you be grateful that you can take standardized tests?

Certain people cannot because learning disabilities hold them back. And then think of the kids who have ADD and take stimulants in order to barely reach the concentration level that
you attain naturally.
But that is not the point.
The goal of taking a standardized test is to earn a good enough score to gain admittance to college. Some people are naturally smart, some study, and others choose to take a pill. They are only hurting or helping themselves. Only increasing their concentration level, not knowledge.
Unlike steroids, prescription drugs do not do the work for you, they only increase your ability to do the work. With the added stress of parental pressure and time constraints, popping an Adderall before the test may just take the edge off.
However, in the eyes of the federal government, that is illegal. No matter if you pop non-prescribed stimulants recreationally or for a purpose, you are still breaking the law.
The proven positive effects of stimulants are tantalizing. They will increase your concentration level; they could even increase you score. But it’s those two words: your score. And would it really be yours if you weren’t using your brain?

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Is taking non-prescribed drugs on standardized tests right?