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

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. When skipped items are given a zero score, we show that this bias is large: most countries increase their scores significantly had their students been serious. A country can rise up to 15 places in rankings if its students took the exam seriously.
 
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