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.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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