The higher the grades students received for their final exams in secondary education, the faster they will graduate from higher education. These graduation grades play a larger role for men than for women.
High grades play a role in subsequent successes
Only half of the students who averaged a 6 out of 10 or less in the central written final exams in secondary education, will graduate from their vocational colleges (hbo) within the standard 5 years. Among students who get a 7 or more this is close to 70 percent.
Higher grades in the central written final exams also correlates with a higher share of students who graduate from their university within 6 years.
Graduates by grades, 1999-2005
Women graduate faster than men
The share of women who graduate within 5 years from higher education is substantially higher than that of men. Women who graduated from secondary education with an average of 6 or less still performed better in higher education than men who graduated with an average of 7 or more.
Exam grades play larger role for men than women
The final exam grades in secondary education play a greater role for men than for women. 61 percent of the men who got a 7 or more on average graduated within 5 years from their vocational college (hbo), versus 38 percent of the men who received a 6 or less. The difference between women who got the highest and lowest grades was 13 percent points. The difference between men and women also exists at university.
Jeroen Ooijevaar and Andrea Annema