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What is at stake without high-stakes exams? Students’ evaluation and admission to college at the time of COVID-19

Andreu Arenas, Caterina Calsamiglia and Annalisa Loviglio
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Caterina Calsamiglia: ICREA, IPEG and IZA

No 2021/03, Working Papers from Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB)

Abstract: The outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 inhibited face-to-face education and constrained exam taking. In many countries worldwide, high-stakes exams happening at the end of the school year determine college admissions. This paper investigates the impact of using historical data of school and high-stakes exams results to train a model to predict high-stakes exams given the available data in the Spring. The most transparent and accurate model turns out to be a linear regression model with high school GPA as the main predictor. Further analysis of the predictions reflect how high-stakes exams relate to GPA in high school for different subgroups in the population. Predicted scores slightly advantage females and low SES individuals, who perform relatively worse in high-stakes exams than in high school. Our preferred model accounts for about 50% of the out-of-sample variation in the high-stakes exam. On average, the student rank using predicted scores differs from the actual rank by almost 17 percentiles. This suggests that either high-stakes exams capture individual skills that are not measured by high school grades or that high-stakes exams are a noisy measure of the same skill.

Keywords: Performance prediction; high-stakes exams; college allocation; COVID-19 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I23 I24 I28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 50 pages
Date: 2021
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1)

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https://ieb.ub.edu/ca/publication/2021-04-what-is- ... he-time-of-covid-19/

Related works:
Journal Article: What is at stake without high-stakes exams? Students’ evaluation and admission to college at the time of COVID-19 (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: What Is at Stake without High-Stakes Exams? Students' Evaluation and Admission to College at the Time of COVID-19 (2020) Downloads
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