The differences in standardized test scores of students in varied school period configurations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Studies and Research

First Advisor

Arthur Southerland

Advisor Department

Educational Studies and Research


This research was designed to determine the difference in students' standardized test scores based on the period configurations used in schools in Mississippi. The relationships of the school size, the accreditation levels of the schools, and gender were also considered, as well as the interactions between these variables. The period configurations considered for this study were the 4 x 4 semesterized schedule, A/B block schedule, six-period schedule, and seven-period schedule. Schools were also stratified according to size and accreditation ratings. The study concentrated on mathematics achievement and if a difference existed based on the four different types of schedules examined. Algebra I scores and the mathematics portion of the Functional Literacy Exam were compared by controlling for the SAT which is taken in the eighth grade. 100 Mississippi high schools were included in this study; 10 schools on the 4 x 4 semesterized block, 30 schools on the A/B block, 30 schools on the six-period schedule, and 30 schools on the seven-period schedule. Because there were only 10 schools in Mississippi using the 4 x 4 semesterized block, these numbers were weighted when considering the statistical impact. The study determined that there was a significant difference among the schedule types on the variable of composite algebra I achievement of students while controlling for SAT. The achievement scores of students in a 4 x 4 schedule type were significantly higher than those of students in each of the other schedules studied--the A/B block, the six-period, and the seven-period schedule types.