French students perform better when not competing with peers

A recent study of students in France finds that students perform better on tests if they are told the exams are intended to help them learn -- rather than as a tool to compare their performance with their peers. Researchers from Clermont Universite in France found, when told their science exam scores would not be compared with their classmates' performance, female students scored 4% worse and male students' scores dropped by 10%.

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