Critics of standardized testing have long held that multiple choice tests are useless for evaluating a student’s real understanding of material. They wrongly assume that the testing itself is learning neutral- that taking the test has no impact on students, aside from wasting their time.
Policy makers who support standardized testing also view test taking as learning neutral, despite long standing and robust evidence that test-taking has an important impact on retention of knowledge.
Generally, testing is an excellent way of increasing retention. But there is one exception: the multiple choice or true/false test without detailed feedback- a.k.a. the standardized test.