The Goldilocks Relationship Between Exam Completion Sequencing and Performance in Accounting Classes
Emerald Publishing Limited, vol.
October (4th Quarter/Autumn)
Although much attention has been devoted to the study of accounting student performance, little attention has been shown to the process of accounting student performance. Attention to process necessitates the subject of accounting students’ test taking behavior be explored. This study invites attention to the order in which students return their examinations. Order can be understood as a measure of perceived evaluation difficulty, student preparation and/ or cognitive diligence. Using data collected from many classes, taught by several instructors at one selective private institution, the results suggest that there is a nonlinear order effect. Those that work on their exams longer tend to score lower. However, those that return their exams relatively quickly do not necessarily score better. The middle range, wherein students complete exams neither early nor late is associated with better test performance. The relationship between exam return order and test performance also varies by type of exam and by matriculation level.