Impacts of high stakes assessments.

A persistent “gender penalty” in exam performance disproportionately impacts women in large introductory science courses, where exam grades generally account for the majority of the students’ assessment of learning. Current and previous work in biology demonstrate that some external factors (e.g., class size, exam ‘stakes’) as well as social psychological factors (e.g., test anxiety) underlie these gender penalties.

From: Salehi, S., Cotner, S., Azarin, S. M., Carlson, E. E., Driessen, M., Ferry, V. E., … & Ballen, C. J. (2019). Gender performance gaps across different assessment methods and the underlying mechanisms: The case of incoming preparation and test anxiety. Frontiers in Education.
From: Odom, S., Boso, H., Bowling, S., Brownell, S., Cotner, S., Creech, C., Drake, A. G., Eddy, S., Fagbodun, S., Hebert, S., James, A. C., Just, J., Juliana, J. R., Shuster, M., Thompson, S. K., Whittington, R., Wills, B. D., Wilson, A. E., Zamudio, K. R., Zhong, M., & Ballen, C. J. 2021. Meta-analysis of gender performance gaps in undergraduate natural science courses. CBE—Life Sciences Education20(3), p.ar40.