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

  • Hendrik Jürges

    ()

  • Kerstin Schneider

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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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00148-008-0234-3
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 23 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 497-517

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:23:y:2010:i:2:p:497-517
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  1. 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-, November.
  2. 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, 08.
  3. Effinger, M.R. & Polborn, M.K., 1997. "A Model of Vertically Differenciated Education," Papers 97.469, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  4. Hendrik Jürges & Kerstin Schneider & Felix Büchel, 2003. "The Effect of Central Exit Examinations on Student Achievement: Quasi-experimental Evidence from TIMSS Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 939, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. 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.
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