A recent study finds girls make higher grades than boys in the classroom, but boys tend to score higher in math and science on standardized tests.  This is not a recent trend; girls have achieved higher grades than boys through all school years for almost a century.  The analysis was published by the American Psychological Association.

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The study was based on research spanning more than 30 countries and was based on research from 1914 to 2011.  Differences were found between girls and boys for grades, and the largest differences were for language course.  The smallest differences were for math and science.  According to the study published in the APA jornal Psychological Bulletin, the girl’s advantage over the boys in math and science was not clear until middle school.  The degree of gender difference in grades increased from elementary to middle school, but decreased between high school and college.

“Although gender differences follow essentially stereotypical patterns on achievement tests in which boys typically score higher on math and science, females have the advantage on school grades regardless of the material,” said lead study author Daniel Voyer, PhD, of the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, Canada. “School marks reflect learning in the larger social context of the classroom and require effort and persistence over long periods of time, whereas standardized tests assess basic or specialized academic abilities and aptitudes at one point in time without social influences.” 

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The researchers examined 369 samples from 308 studies, reflecting grades of 538,710 boys and 595,332 girls. Seventy percent of the samples consisted of students from the United States. Other countries or regions represented by more than one sample included Norway, Canada, Turkey, Germany, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, New Zealand, Australia, Sweden, Slovakia, United Kingdom, Africa and Finland. Countries represented by one sample included Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Mexico, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Jordan, the Netherlands, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Serbia and Slovenia.

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