Underprediction of Female Performance from Standardized Knowledge Tests: A Further Example from the Knowledge of Geography Test

Underprediction of Female Performance from Standardized Knowledge Tests: A Further Example from... It has been documented that some tests ofbackground knowledge underpredict the performance offemale students in college. This study explored whetherthe underprediction phenomenon would also be found for a test that tapped four subfields ofgeography. Students (primarily White, N = 315) enrolledin nine geography classes at a comprehensive, midwesternuniversity completed the Knowledge of Geography (KOG) test during the first week of the semester andconsented to release their first exam grades, finalgrades, and ACT scores. Replicating a previous study(Henrie, Aron, Nelson, & Poole, 1997), there were gender differences favoring males across allfour subfields of the KOG test. KOG test scorescorrelated with grades, but males and females achievedcomparable course grades despite the lower performance of females on the KOG test. Examples illustratehow small differences between predicted and actualgrades can translate into large gender discrepancieswhenever minimum scores from tests that underpredict the performance of a subgroup are used toqualify students for educationalopportunities. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Underprediction of Female Performance from Standardized Knowledge Tests: A Further Example from the Knowledge of Geography Test

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1018891220536
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

It has been documented that some tests ofbackground knowledge underpredict the performance offemale students in college. This study explored whetherthe underprediction phenomenon would also be found for a test that tapped four subfields ofgeography. Students (primarily White, N = 315) enrolledin nine geography classes at a comprehensive, midwesternuniversity completed the Knowledge of Geography (KOG) test during the first week of the semester andconsented to release their first exam grades, finalgrades, and ACT scores. Replicating a previous study(Henrie, Aron, Nelson, & Poole, 1997), there were gender differences favoring males across allfour subfields of the KOG test. KOG test scorescorrelated with grades, but males and females achievedcomparable course grades despite the lower performance of females on the KOG test. Examples illustratehow small differences between predicted and actualgrades can translate into large gender discrepancieswhenever minimum scores from tests that underpredict the performance of a subgroup are used toqualify students for educationalopportunities.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 30, 2004

References

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