Better Luck Next Time: Learning through Retaking

Jan 2014
This paper provides some evidence that repeat taking of competitive exams may reduce the impact of background disadvantages on educational outcomes. Using administrative data on the university entrance exam in Turkey, the paper estimates cumulative learning between the first and the nth attempt while controlling for selection into retaking in terms of observed and unobserved characteristics. Large learning gains measured in terms of improvements in the exam scores are found, especially among less advantaged students.