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Performance of Men and Women on Multiple-Choice and Constructed-Response Tests for Beginning Teachers

Livingston, Samuel A.; Rupp, Stacie L.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Gender Differences, Multiple-Choice Tests, Constructed-Response Tests, Teacher Licensure, P-P Plots, Praxis


Some previous research results imply that women tend to perform better, relative to men, on constructed-response (CR) tests than on multiple-choice (MC) tests in the same subjects. An analysis of data from several tests used in the licensing of beginning teachers supported this hypothesis, to varying degrees, in most of the tests investigated. The hypothesis was strongly supported in Praxis? Principles of Learning and Teaching tests for secondary school teachers and in subject-knowledge tests for social studies teachers, science teachers, and middle school mathematics teachers. Evidence for the hypothesis was weak in subject-knowledge tests for middle school English teachers and for secondary school mathematics teachers. Subject-knowledge tests for secondary school English teachers did not show the hypothesized relationship. The analysis was based on plots showing the cumulative percentages of men and women attaining each possible score on the MC and CR tests.

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