Students on a first year undergraduate economics module were given the choice of when to sit their first assessment in the subject in order to determine both preferences over assessment timing, and the impact of timing on performance. Clear preferences of having this option were shown (only 2% of students stated to be indifferent) with those more comfortable and engaged in the module electing to take an earlier sitting of the assessment. Those who took the early test performed better on average compared to those who took it later, however, after controlling for attendance, there was no statistical link. There was, however, evidence that a later first assessment caused lower attendance and moreover, evidence of a legacy effect of this timing where the out-performance of the early cohort grew over later tests, which all students took at the same time.
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