Hit or Miss? Test Taking Behavior in Multiple Choice Exams

54 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2016 Last revised: 17 Sep 2021

See all articles by Saziye Akyol

Saziye Akyol

Pennsylvania State University, College of the Liberal Arts - Department of Economic

James Key

The University of Western Australia

Kala Krishna

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

Date Written: July 2016

Abstract

We model and estimate the decision to answer questions in multiple choice tests with negative marking. Our focus is on the trade-off between precision and fairness. Negative marking reduces guessing, thereby increasing accuracy considerably. However, it reduces the expected score of the more risk averse, discriminating against them. Using data from the Turkish University Entrance Exam, we find that students' attitudes towards risk differ according to their gender and ability. Women and those with high ability are significantly more risk averse: nevertheless, the impact on scores of such differences is small, making a case for negative marking.

Suggested Citation

Akyol, Saziye and Key, James and Krishna, Kala, Hit or Miss? Test Taking Behavior in Multiple Choice Exams (July 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2807731

Saziye Akyol (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University, College of the Liberal Arts - Department of Economic ( email )

524 Kern Graduate Building
University Park, PA 16802-3306
United States

James Key

The University of Western Australia

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

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
14
Abstract Views
305
PlumX Metrics