The impact of time between cognitive tasks on performance: Evidence from advanced placement exams
Devin G. Pope, Booth School of Business, United States ; Ian Fillmore, Economics Department of University of Chicago, United States
Economics of Education Review Volume 48, Number 1, ISSN 0272-7757 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Students are often required to perform several mental tasks in a short period of time, and their performance is likely to depend on how closely the tasks are scheduled. We examine this phenomenon in a particular context: Advanced Placement (AP) exams in the United States. We exploit variation in the AP exam schedule from year to year which results in a student who takes two exams in one year having more or less time between the exams than a student who takes the same two exams in a different year. We find evidence that more time between exams results in higher scores, particularly on the second exam, and that this effect varies across different types of students. Our estimates suggest that a student taking two exams ten days apart is 6–8% more likely to pass them both than a student taking the same exams only one day apart.
Pope, D.G. & Fillmore, I. (2015). The impact of time between cognitive tasks on performance: Evidence from advanced placement exams. Economics of Education Review, 48(1), 30-40. Elsevier Ltd.