NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Jinwen Wang

Department of Economics
303 Kern Building
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Pennsylvania State University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2018Taking PISA Seriously: How Accurate are Low Stakes Exams?
with Ş. Pelin Akyol, Kala Krishna: w24930
PISA is seen as the gold standard for evaluating educational outcomes worldwide. Yet, being a low-stakes exam, students may not take it seriously resulting in downward biased scores and inaccurate rankings. This paper provides a method to identify and account for non-serious behavior in low-stakes exams by leveraging information in computer-based assessments in PISA 2015. We compare the score/rankings with no corrections to those generated using the PISA approach as well as our method which fully corrects for the bias. We show that the total bias is large and that the PISA approach corrects for only about half of it.
 
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