High Stakes Testing and Student Achievement

15/03/2019 15:00


We investigate the effect of high stakes exam periods on math test scores ofGerman primary and secondary students. In our setting, stakes are highduring the final grades in primary and secondary education because studentperformance at these grades determines subsequent educational or labormarket success. Our difference-in-differences estimates reveal substantialhigh stakes effects: on average, students nearing the final grades of theirprimary or secondary education experience a 0.20 s.d. gain in math scores.As high stakes effects only develop towards the end of a schooling level,there are potentially large gains from better motivating students right uponenrollment into new schools.