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Grading standards, student ability and errors in college admission

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Møen, Jarle & Tjelta, Martin, 2010. "Grading standards, student ability and errors in college admission," Discussion Papers 2010/5, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhhfms:2010_005
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/11250/164138
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Betts, Julian R. & Grogger, Jeff, 2003. "The impact of grading standards on student achievement, educational attainment, and entry-level earnings," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 343-352, August.
    2. T. S. Breusch & A. R. Pagan, 1980. "The Lagrange Multiplier Test and its Applications to Model Specification in Econometrics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 239-253.
    3. Manuel Bagues & Mauro Sylos Labini & Natalia Zinovyeva, 2008. "Differential Grading Standards and University Funding: Evidence from Italy," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 54(2), pages 149-176.
    4. Maria, De Paola, 2008. "Are easy grading practices induced by low demand? Evidence from Italy," MPRA Paper 14425, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Grading practices; Differential grading standards; Admission policy;

    JEL classification:

    • A20 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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