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Girls scoring more A1s in Leaving Cert than boys

In 31 out of 36 subjects, female exam students topped the class.

Holy Saunders and Holy Doyle form Mount Temple school on Dublin's northside.
Holy Saunders and Holy Doyle form Mount Temple school on Dublin's northside.
Image: Sam Boal

GIRLS CONTINUE TO outperform boys in the vast majority of Leaving Cert subjects, according to stats released by the State Examinations commission.

In terms of getting A1 grades at Higher Level, more girls achieved this mark than boys in 31 of 36 subjects measured.

These 36 exam results measured are the subjects that had more than 10 students sitting them.

In Irish, English, History, Geography and all the languages more girls got an A1 grade at Higher Level than boys.

In the case of Irish, for example, 6.1% of girls who took the Higher Level paper achieved an A1 grade compared to 4% of boys. In English, the result was the same with 3.7% of girls achieving an A1 grade compared to 2.5% of boys.

The five subjects in which boys achieved more A1s at Higher Level than girls were all similar in their content. They were: Maths, Applied Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Economics.

At Ordinary Level there is a much lower percentage of A1s across the board with students at the level more often that not taking the higher paper.

Despite this, the story is similar with girls outperforming boys in the achievement of A1s across nearly every subject at Ordinary Level, even in the subjects at which boys come out on top at Higher Level.

Measuring failure rates across the three core subjects in both Ordinary and Higher Level, boys also fare worse.

There were more failures among boys than girls is Ordinary Level English, Irish and Maths as well as Higher Level English and Maths.

These failure rates were all relatively low, with only Maths topping 1% of those who took the paper.

Here’s the raw data if you want to have a look:

- LC Higher Level gender statistics

- LC Ordinary Level gender statistics

Read: Father who returned to education received Leaving Cert results with his teenage daughter >

Read: “I was just so over the moon” – Here’s how it feels to get 8 A1s in the Leaving Cert >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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