Girls outscored boys in all but two subjects in the Junior Cert
Published 16/09/2016 | 02:30
Girls outperformed boys in the Junior Certificate, achieving better grades in almost all subjects, according to a gender breakdown of the results.
At higher level, female candidates scored more As and more ABC "honours" grades in almost all subjects than their male counterparts.
The only two of 22 subjects where boys produced more ABCs were metalwork and environmental and social studies.
Girls are also less likely to get a below-D on an exam paper.
The stronger performance of girls is particularly evident in English and foreign languages, classical studies, art, craft and design and home economics.
In English, 83pc of girls scored an ABC, compared with 76pc of boys, while in art, craft and design, 92pc of girls achieved an "honour" against 79pc of boys.
Boys did notch up more As in higher level maths with 13pc getting the top grade, compared with 10pc of girls, but when it came to ABCs, girls edged slightly ahead to 77pc, against 76pc.
The better showing by girls in exams is not peculiar to Ireland and is often attributed to females being better organised.
Apart from getting better grades, female students are more likely to aim higher from the outset.
There has been a steady increase in the number of junior cycle students generally taking higher level papers, but that is even more so the case among girls.
This year, 51pc of Junior Cert candidates were male, but, for instance, they accounted for only 43pc of those taking the higher level Irish and 47pc of those sitting "honours" English.
Even in maths, where there has been a dramatic increase in higher level uptake, with an eye on the potential for an extra 25 CAO bonus points in the Leaving Cert, boys made up only 49pc of the candidature.
There is a broadly similar pattern at ordinary level, according to statistics supplied by the State Examinations Commission (SEC).