Power law distribution in education: Effect of economical, teaching, and study conditions in university entrance examination

Nenhuma Miniatura disponível




Gupta, H. M.
Campanha, JR
Chavarette, F. R.

Título da Revista

ISSN da Revista

Título de Volume


World Scientific Publ Co Pte Ltd


We studied the statistical distribution of student's performance, which is measured through their marks, in university entrance examination (Vestibular) of UNESP (Universidade Estadual Paulista) with respect to (i) period of study - day versus night period (ii) teaching conditions - private versus public school (iii) economical conditions - high versus low family income. We observed long ubiquitous power law tails in physical and biological sciences in all cases. The mean value increases with better study conditions followed by better teaching and economical conditions. In humanities, the distribution is close to normal distribution with very small tail. This indicates that these power law tails in science subjects axe due to the nature of the subjects themselves. Further and better study, teaching and economical conditions axe more important for physical and biological sciences in comparison to humanities at this level of study. We explain these statistical distributions through Gradually Truncated Power law distributions. We discuss the possible reason for this peculiar behavior.



gradually truncated power law distributions, university entrance examination, science and mathematics education

Como citar

International Journal of Modern Physics C. Singapore: World Scientific Publ Co Pte Ltd, v. 14, n. 4, p. 449-457, 2003.