3 reasons why girls outshine boys in board exams


Saumya Patel of Rae Bareli topped the Uttar Pradesh Board of Secondary Examination by securing 98.67 percent. Sakshi Verma of Barabanki topped the Intermediate examination of UP Board, in which about 29 lakh students had appeared, by securing 98.20 percent.

Girls also outshined boys in the overall pass percentage. Out of the 31 lakh students who had appeared for UP board exams, one of country’s biggest secondary examination board, 87.66 percent had passed. The pass percentage among girls was 91.11 percent and among boys it was 84.82 percent. In intermediate examination, the pass percentage among girl students was 92.48, whereas among boys it was 84.35 per cent.

The success story of girls in the examination results does not end here. Sukriti Gupta topped the CBSE Class XII board exams with 99.4 percent, followed by second toppers Palak Goyal and Somya Uppar from Haryana, both of whom had scored 496 marks.

Last year, the passing percentage of girls was a mighty 98.94 percent as compared to 98.64 percent for boys. 

What could be the reason for girls doing better than the boys year after year? Do they concentrate more or are they more hard working? We try to find out.

In a new study by OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), the performances of 15-year-old boys and girls were examined in various subjects, including math and science. It was found that boys had an edge over girls in math and science, but the overall result was in the favour of girls. The study also revealed that boys struggled more than girls in academics and they were 50 percent more likely to fall short of basic standards in these areas.

The psychologists at the universities of Glasgow and Missouri studied the educational achievement levels of 1.5 million 15-year-olds from around the world using Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) data taken between 2000 and 2010. The findings show that even in countries which are known for their lack of gender equality, including Qatar, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates, girls still outstrip educational performance of boys.

After analysing various factors, it can be concluded that girls have an edge over the boys owing to the following reasons.

1) Girls read more than boys

A survey called the “Literacy Skills for the World of Tomorrow”, which was developed by UNESCO and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and based on tests involving 4,500 to 10,000 students in each country, suggests that girls are reading better than boys through age 15. According to the report, girls had higher reading scores in every one of 43 countries surveyed. The report also suggests that boys are reading less fluently because of “a lack of engagement”. Statistically, 56 percent of the boys read only to get information, compared with 33 percent of the girls. However, nearly half of the girls said they read for at least 30 minutes a day, compared with less than one-third of the boys. Reading is a basis of learning proficiency and the lack of reading habit seems to be casting the boys dearly.

2) Girls have a better attention span

The attention span of boys tends to be shorter than that of girls. Girls can concentrate better in class and hence are more likely to fare better in exams. Daniel Voyer and Susan Voyer, Psychologists at the University of New Brunswick in Canada, did what’s called a meta-analysis, combining data from many different published studies. They ended up with details on more than a million boys and girls in more than 300 studies across the world, including the US, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. It was found that the popular theory that girls find it easier than boys to sit still and concentrate in class, or at least to behave in a way that pleases teachers may hold true.

3) Peer pressure

Parents generally encourage girls to do better when they fare poorly in their exams. Researchers also found out that boys spend more of their free time in the virtual world; they are 17 percent more likely to play collaborative online games than girls on a daily basis. They also use the internet more.

Despite the fact that girls perform better than boys and there has been significant progress in improving girls’ access to education in the last two decades, seven out of 10 girls still drop out of school before they reach class 10. Through favourable government policies, we as a nation need to collectively work towards creating a more conducive environment for our bright girls to study.


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