The purpose of this paper is to determine whether the number of lecture-free and exam-free days before a final exam affects students’ scores overall and by gender.
The paper exploits scheduling differences in final exams between two groups of students who take identical final exams. The treatment group and the control group have similar exam spacing for one “early exam,” but the treatment group has four additional days between exams for another “later exam,” allowing for a difference-in-differences analysis. A survey of contemporary students is conducted to complement the empirical results.
Overall, there are no statistically significant differences in the grades on the exams between the control group and the group that had four more study days. When examined by gender, the point estimate on females is large in magnitude but statistically insignificant at conventional levels (p-value=0.087).
The study uses data on undergraduate students studying economics in Israel. More research in other contexts is needed to determine the robustness of the findings.
This is the first paper to study the effect of the number of days students have between final exams on student final exam scores. The results can aid in determining optimal final exam schedules.
Sansani, S. and Rahamim, A. (2019), "Available study time and undergraduate student exam performance", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 20-35. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-12-2017-0158Download as .RIS
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