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Grading standards, student ability and errors in college admission

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Author Info

  • Møen, Jarle

    ()
    (Dept. of Finance and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Tjelta, Martin

    ()
    (Finance and Management Department, University of Stavanger)

Abstract

Grades are important for admission of students in most higher education programmes. Analysing admission and student performance data at a major Norwegian business school, we find that the grading practice of teachers at regional colleges sending students to the school is affected by the average performance of the students being graded. Teachers at colleges recruiting good students from upper secondary school tend to be strict in their grading practice, while teachers at colleges recruiting less good students tend to follow a lenient practice. This has implications for the interpretation of grades and hence for optimal admission procedures. We develop a methodology to assess the consequences of differential grading standards. Approximately ten percent of the students in our data are admitted at the expense of more competent students. We demonstrate costs for the school admitting wrong students and in particular for the rejected students.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 2010/5.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 29 Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhhfms:2010_005

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Postal: NHH, Department of Business and Management Science, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway
Phone: +47 55 95 92 93
Fax: +47 55 95 96 50
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Web page: http://www.nhh.no/en/research-faculty/department-of-business-and-management-science.aspx
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Related research

Keywords: Grading practices; Differential grading standards; Admission policy;

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  1. Maria, De Paola, 2008. "Are easy grading practices induced by low demand? Evidence from Italy," MPRA Paper 14425, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Manuel Bagues & Mauro Sylos Labini & Natalia Zinovyeva, 2008. "Differential Grading Standards and University Funding: Evidence from Italy," Working Papers 2008-07, FEDEA.
  3. Breusch, T.S. & Pagan, A.R., . "The Lagrange multiplier test and its applications to model specification in econometrics," CORE Discussion Papers RP -412, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Julian R. Betts & Jeff Grogger, 2000. "The Impact of Grading Standards on Student Achievement, Educational Attainment, and Entry-Level Earnings," NBER Working Papers 7875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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