Women Lose Out to Men on Competitive Exam After Doing Better on Noncompetitive Test

Women perform more poorly than men on the highly competitive entrance exam for French business school HEC Paris, even though the same women had performed significantly better, on average, than the same men on France’s pass/fail, less-competitive national baccalauréat exam two years before, says a team led by Evren Ors, a professor at the school. As a consequence, the pool of admitted candidates contains more men than women. Once women are admitted to HEC, they tend to outperform their male classmates. Tournament-like competitive contests may lead to gender differences in performance, the authors say.

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