Taking PISA Seriously: How Accurate are Low Stakes Exams?

63 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2018 Last revised: 13 Feb 2021

See all articles by Pelin Akyol

Pelin Akyol

Bilkent University

Kala Krishna

Pennsylvania State University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jinwen Wang

Pennsylvania State University

Date Written: August 2018

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Akyol, Pelin and Krishna, Kala and Wang, Jinwen, Taking PISA Seriously: How Accurate are Low Stakes Exams? (August 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24930, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3236736

Pelin Akyol (Contact Author)

Bilkent University

Bilkent, 06533
Turkey

Kala Krishna

Pennsylvania State University - Department of Economics ( email )

523 Kern Graduate Building
University Park, PA 16802-3306
United States
814-865-1106 (Phone)
814-863-4775 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jinwen Wang

Pennsylvania State University

University Park
State College, PA 16802
United States

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