The Impact of Relative Age Effect on Mathematics Achievement

  •  Ali Ünal    


The timing of children’s start to school is the interest of researchers, policy-makers and especially parents. Researches on this issue have recently pointed to the concept of relative age effect (RAE). The purpose of this study is to determine the impact of RAE on mathematics achievement in Turkey. In order to accomplish this purpose, the question was sought: Does RAE have an impact on TIMSS 2015 the fourth and eighth grades mathematics scores of Turkey? The research was conducted in survey model. In the present study, the data obtained from the TIMSS 2015 results of Turkey was used. Totally 6456 students were sampled for TIMSS 2015 the fourth grade in 242 schools. Also, totally 6079 students (2943 girls and 3136 boys) were sampled for TIMSS 2015 the eighth grade in 218 schools. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to analyze the data. In conclusion, it has been reached that RAE has an impact on TIMSS 2015 the fourth and eighth grades mathematics scores of Turkey and the youngest children born just before the cut-off date has the worst performance. The recommendations based on the results have been submitted as making the enrollment dates more flexible, especially for children in rural areas, not applying honors classes in schools, raising awareness about RAE in pre-service and in-service training programs for teachers, no pressure on children at home and at school for their lagging in competition.

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