Everry little helps. Favouritism towards girls in Polish high-school exams
Every little helps
Favouritism towards girls
in Polish high-school exams
University of Warsaw
Does student’s gender affect
evaluation? Previous evidence
• Main strategy: relatively objective measures
(external and/or blind tests) vs. relatively
subjective measures (tests marked by
teachers, grades also reflecting coursework,
oral presentations etc.).
• Favouritism towards girls: Lavy (2008), Lindahl
(2007), Angelo (2014), Falch and Naper
(2013), Terrier (2014) Rauschenberg (2014).
Deos it depend on the subject?
• Girls favoured in math etc., boys in literature
etc. (Breda and Ly, 2014, Lindahl, 2007 and
Cornwell et al., 2013).
• (consistent with a theoretical paper by
• Enzi (2015): exactly the opposite finding
It may not be due to teacher’s bias
• Girls tend to work harder during the year (so
perhaps deserve higher grades for course work).
• Girls tend to show greater social skills, a more
positive attitude towards the learning process
etc., for which they are rewarded in class, see
Cornwell et al. (2011)
• Girls may underperform at objective,
centralized exams due to greater test anxiety
(Cassady and Johnson, 2008).
• Hinnerich et al. (2014): randomly selected exams
were anonymously re-graded. While overall
scores were much worse, this did not interact
significantly with gender.
• Van Ewijk (2010) and Sprietsma (2013) let
teachers evaluate same essays signed as boy/girl,
member of ethnic minority/majority. Typically no
significant impact of gender
• Costly, so smaller samples
• Artificial, so teachers may behave differently
• Data from matura exams 2010-2014
• Compulsory written exams in
• Oral in Polish+foreign
• Study 1: Evaluation of oral exams may be
more subjective and gender-biased than
• Study 2: Obviously arbitrary score adjustment
around threshold may be gender-biased