Assessment Drives Learning: The Effect of Central Exit Exams on Curricular Knowledge and Mathematical Literacy
In this paper, we use data from the German PISA 2003 sample to study the effects of central exit examinations on student performance, student attitudes, and teacher behavior. Unlike earlier studies we use (i) a value-added measure to pin down the effect of central exit exams on learning in the last year before the exam and (ii) separate test scores for mathematical literacy and curriculum-based knowledge. The findings indicate that central exit exams only improve curriculum-based knowledge but do not affect mathematical literacy. Moreover, teachers in German states with central exit examinations are more active and tend to be more performance oriented. Students, although showing a better performance, are less motivated in school.
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