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Parents' Education Impacts Scores on Psychometric Exam

Although previous research found a direct connection between parents' education and children's success in the school system, new research has also drawn a connection to success on the psychometric exam, generally considered to test learning ability regardless of previous background. The research found that each additional year parents were educated raises Israeli's high school graduate's likelihood of taking the test by 20%, while also adding almost 10 points to the test results.

The new study, conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics, looked into factors that affect achievement on the psychometric exam. The research looked at students' socio-economic background such as parents' education and family size, high school achievement, and characteristics of the school such as the number of teachers with advanced academic degrees.

The research examined connections between psychometric results and student background variables, finding that the higher the education of the parents, the greater the achievement of students on the exam.

The second stage of the research included a broader range of variables, primarily achievement on matriculation exams. The most influential variable was a weighted grade on the math and English matriculation exams. Success in these two subjects substantially raise psychometric achievement; over the 1995-2000 research period, a 150-point advantage was consistently maintained by students who took 5-unit matriculation exams in both of these subjects over those who took 3-unit exams.

University acceptance is determined according to a weighted grade consisting of matriculation average and psychometric exam results. As opposed to matriculation exams, the results of which are heavily influenced by socio-economic background for the test taker, the psychometric exam is widely considered "color blind", providing equal opportunity to all test takers, including those from rural and urban areas, Jews or Arabs, etc. The CBS research undercuts this premise.

Separate research examined psychometric exam results over a fifteen year period, from 1991-2006, and found a 100-point gap between the achievements of Jewish and Arab test takers. Test result analysis according to socio-economic levels, found that the gap between the results of students from poorer and wealthier towns increased slightly from 60 points in 1991 to 80 points in 2006.