Wednesday 13 December 2017

Girls do it again, with better grades in Leaving Cert

Megan got her results at Lough Rynn Castle, Co Leitrim
Megan got her results at Lough Rynn Castle, Co Leitrim
Leaving Cert: How the genders fared
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Girls continue to outperform boys in the Leaving Certificate, according to a gender breakdown of the results.

Female candidates produced more ABCs and fewer fails across almost all subjects, and at both higher and ordinary level.

Boys have the distinct edge in maths and applied maths and also produced proportionately more top grades this year in higher level chemistry, Italian, engineering, construction studies and accounting.

But, overall, girls were top of the class in the other 25 Leaving Certificate subjects, although in some cases, such as physics, they only shade it.

The phenomenon of girls producing better overall results than boys is not peculiar to Ireland, and is generally attributed to girls being more organised in their approach to study and aiming higher.

A report earlier this year from the Paris-based think-tank, the OECD, provides further insights into the differences between the genders when it comes to educational achievement.

The ABC of Gender Equality in Education, which is linked to OECD studies that regularly compare the performances of 15-year-olds internationally in maths, English and science, found that girls read more and spend more time on homework, while boys have more negative attitudes towards school.

Boys may feel they are "too cool" and are more likely to arrive late. They also spend more time on computers and the internet and playing video games.

According to the study, boys are 17pc more likely to play collaborative online games than girls every day.

The tendency for girls to aim higher is obvious in the Leaving Certificate gender figures for English, the most popular subject with 19,892 females sitting higher level, compared with 16,167 males, and 10pc of girls achieving an A compared with 7.6pc of boys.

The differences are starker in Irish, with 19,460 girls taking the "honours" paper compared with 12,311 boys, and 17.3pc of girls scoring an A, compared with 12.6pc of boys.

But in maths, of the 14,691 candidates who took higher level, there were more boys, at 7,695, compared with 6,996 girls.

Among the boys, 13.4pc notched up an A, almost double the 7.5pc A rate among girls. The fail rate among girls was slightly higher than boys.

In ordinary level maths, where the overall fail rate was 5.9pc, the proportion of boys scoring below a D was above the average at 6.5pc, while for girls it was 5.3pc.

While chemistry at higher level was a more popular option for girls, accounting for over half the candidates. Boys were more likely to score an A .

Irish Independent

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