We investigate the qualifying entrance exam for the University of Minnesota Talented Youth Mathematics Program (UMTYMP), a five-year accelerated program covering high school- and undergraduate-level mathematics. The exam is used to assess the computational, numerical reasoning, and geometric skills of hundreds of fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-grade students annually. It has accurately identified qualified students in past years, but female participants consistently have had lower overall scores. Based on our belief that they are equally well qualified, in 2011 we began an extensive investigation into the structure and content of the exam to determine the possible sources for these differences. After gathering and analyzing data, we made relatively modest changes in 2012 which essentially eliminated the gender bias on one version of the entrance exam, increasing the percentage of females who qualified. The other unmodified versions in 2012 exhibited the typical gender difference from previous years. We continue to analyze the possible reasons for the gender differences while monitoring the overall student performance upon entering the Program.
© Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Butterfield, J.; Keynes, H.; Rogness, J.; and Sukiennik, J.
"Analyzing the Gender Gap on an Entrance Exam for Mathematically Talented Students,"
Journal of Mathematics and Science: Collaborative Explorations: Vol. 15
, Article 13.
Available at: https://scholarscompass.vcu.edu/jmsce_vamsc/vol15/iss1/13