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igh school students taking the AP Calculus test are generally asked their gender before taking the test. In a field study performed by ETS (Educational Testing Services, the company that designs aptitude tests like the GRE and Praxis), a sample group of girls and boys was asked to indicate their gender after completing it.
Females who received the gender inquiry before the test scored an average AP Formula Score of 12.5, while males scored an average of 16.5. In the groups that received the gender inquiry after the test, females scored an average of 15, while males scored an average of 14. Not only did stereotype threat significantly harm girls’ scores, but boys benefited from being reminded of their gender before taking the test. Aronson said that ETS declined to change the system, even in light of the results of the study.
The phenomenon also costs women an average of twenty to thirty SAT points, he added.
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