We identify one potential source of bias that influences children’s performance on standardized tests and that is predictable based on psychological theory: the time at which students take the test. Using test data for all children attending Danish public schools between school years 2009/10 and 2012/13, we find that, for every hour later in the day, test scores decrease by 0.9% of an SD. In addition, a 20- to 30-minute break improves average test scores. Time of day affects students’ test performance because, over the course of a regular day, students’ mental resources get taxed. Thus, as the day wears on, students become increasingly fatigued and consequently more likely to underperform on a standardized test.
Hans Henrik Sievertsen, SFI
|Publiceret i||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|