Females show more sustained performance during test-taking than males

Pau Balart*, Matthijs Oosterveen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Females tend to perform worse than males on math and science tests, but they perform better on verbal reading tests. Here, by analysing performance during a cognitive test, we provide evidence that females are better able to sustain their performance during a test across all of these topics, including math and science (study 1). This finding suggests that longer cognitive tests decrease the gender gap in math and science. By analysing a dataset with multiple tests that vary in test length, we find empirical support for this idea (study 2).

Original languageEnglish
Article number3798
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Lex Borghans, Trudie Schils and Dinand Webbink for helpful comments and valuable support. Seminar participants at SOLE 2017, the Asian Meeting of the Econometric Society 2017, IAAE 2017, the COSME workshop 2018, the Workshop on Remedial Education, Noncognitive Skills and Gender, and the Tinbergen Institute are also gratefully acknowledged for their feedback. This research has been funded by Fundación Ramón Areces through the XVII Concurso Nacional para la Adjudicación de Ayudas a la Investigación en Ciencias Sociales.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, The Author(s).


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