September 2012

IZA DP No. 6832: Rational Students and Resit Exams

published in: Economics Letters, 2013, 118 (1), 213-215

Resit exams – extra opportunities to do an exam in the same academic year – are widely prevalent in European higher education, but uncommon in the US. I present a simple theoretical model to compare rational student behavior in the case of only one exam opportunity versus the case of two exam opportunities. Numerical examples for a wide range of plausible parameter values show that a second exam opportunity increases the ultimate passing probability only slightly, but strongly reduces average total student effort.