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Central exit examinations increase performance... but take the fun out of mathematics

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  • Hendrik Jürges

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  • Kerstin Schneider

Abstract

In response to PISA, all German federal states but one have adopted central exit examinations (CEEs) at the end of all secondary school tracks. Theoretically, the advantages of CEEs are fairly undisputed. CEEs make teaching and learning output observable and comparable across schools, and provide incentives for teachers and students to increase their effort. In line with earlier research, we confirm that CEEs have a positive causal effect on student performance. We also investigate what actually drives this effect. We find that the teachers' main reaction to CEEs is to increase the amount of homework, and to check and discuss homework more often. Students report increased learning pressure, which has sizeable negative effects on student attitudes towards learning. Students who take central exit exams in mathematics like mathematics less, think it is less easy and they are more likely to find it boring.
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Suggested Citation

  • Hendrik Jürges & Kerstin Schneider, 2010. "Central exit examinations increase performance... but take the fun out of mathematics," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(2), pages 497-517, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:23:y:2010:i:2:p:497-517
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-008-0234-3
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00148-008-0234-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hendrik Jürges & Kerstin Schneider & Felix Büchel, 2005. "The Effect Of Central Exit Examinations On Student Achievement: Quasi-Experimental Evidence From TIMSS Germany," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(5), pages 1134-1155, September.
    2. Hendrik Jürges & Wolfram F. Richter & Kerstin Schneider, 2005. "Teacher Quality and Incentives: Theoretical and Empirical Effects of Standards on Teacher Quality," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 61(3), pages 298-298, November.
    3. Matthias Effinger & Mattias Polborn, 1999. "A model of vertically differentiated education," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 69(1), pages 53-69, February.
    4. Hendrik Jürges & Kerstin Schneider, 2007. "What can go wrong will go wrong: Birthday effects and early tracking in the German school system," MEA discussion paper series 07138, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    5. Hendrik Jürges & Kerstin Schneider, 2004. "International Differences in Student Achievement: An Economic Perspective," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 5(3), pages 357-380, August.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kamhöfer, Daniel, 2014. "The Effect of Early Childhood Language Training Programs on the Contemporary Formation of Grammar Skills," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100374, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. repec:iza:izawol:journl:y:2018:n:419 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Elke Lüdemann, 2011. "Schooling and the Formation of Cognitive and Non-cognitive Outcomes," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 39, June.
    4. Piopiunik, Marc & Schwerdt, Guido & Woessmann, Ludger, 2013. "Central school exit exams and labor-market outcomes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 93-108.
    5. Meyer, Tobias & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2012. "How Important is Secondary School Duration for Post-school Education Decisions? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-509, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    6. Susanne Link, 2012. "Single-Sex Schooling and Student Performance: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from South Korea," ifo Working Paper Series 146, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    7. Jürges, Hendrik & Schneider, Kerstin & Senkbeil, Martin & Carstensen, Claus H., 2012. "Assessment drives learning: The effect of central exit exams on curricular knowledge and mathematical literacy," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 56-65.
    8. Schwerdt, Guido & Woessmann, Ludger, 2017. "The information value of central school exams," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 65-79.
    9. Stefanie Dufaux, 2012. "Assessment for Qualification and Certification in Upper Secondary Education: A Review of Country Practices and Research Evidence," OECD Education Working Papers 83, OECD Publishing.
    10. repec:spr:jopoec:v:30:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s00148-017-0643-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Jan Marcus & Vaishali Zambre, 2016. "The Effect of Increasing Education Efficiency on University Enrollment: Evidence from Administrative Data and an Unusual Schooling Reform in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1613, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    12. Andrea Riedel & Kerstin Schneider & Claudia Schuchart & Horst Weishaupt, 2009. "School Choice in German Primary Schools: How binding are school districts?," Schumpeter Discussion Papers sdp09011, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    State-mandated exams; Student achievement; Teacher quality; I28; H42; D02;

    JEL classification:

    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact

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