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Junior Cert results: Girls outperform boys in 20 out of 23 subjects

Only the stereotypically male strongholds of Maths and Metalwork see boys have a higher proportion of A grades than girls.

Caoimhe Daly, Niamh McAdams and Anna Woods from Loreto College in Dublin celebrate receiving their Junior Cert results on Wednesday.
Caoimhe Daly, Niamh McAdams and Anna Woods from Loreto College in Dublin celebrate receiving their Junior Cert results on Wednesday.
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

A NEW BREAKDOWN of the results obtained by nearly 59,000 students in this year’s Junior Certificate results has revealed that the nation’s girls have once again consistently outperformed their male counterparts.

Figures to be published today by the State Examinations Commission reveal that out of 23 subjects offered in this year’s Junior Cert which were sat by more by ten students at honours level, no fewer than 20 subjects saw girls more likely to achieve an A grade than boys.

In language subjects, meanwhile, the failure rates among male students was consistently higher than among their female rivals.

The gap between the sexes is largest in Civic, Social and Political Education, a subject taken by all Junior Cert students at the same ‘common’ level (meaning there are no ‘higher’ or ‘ordinary’ level papers).

In that subject – which aims to teach students basic knowledge about the political and courts systems – 29.6 per cent of all female candidates managed an A grade, compared to just 14.3 per cent of their male colleagues.

Other subjects including Latin, Arts Crafts and Design, Home Economics and Technology saw gaps of greater than 10 per cent between the proportion of girls who were awarded As, and the proportion of boys who earned similar marks.

In only two subjects – the stereotypically male strongholds of Metalwork and Mathematics – did a higher proportion of boys manage As at higher level – by 1.7 and 1.5 per cent respectively. In a third subject, Material Technology (previously ‘woodwork’), boys and girls scored equally, with 10 per cent of each getting an A.

Failure rates at higher-level subjects were also higher among boys in 20 out of the 23 subjects – with only arts and crafts, metalwork and woodwork having a higher failure rate among female candidates than male ones.

In each of those cases, the failure rates among girls were no more than 0.5 per cent greater than they were for boys.

By comparison, male students were more likely to fail in 20 of the 23 subjects – with subjects involving languages among those with the biggest gaps.

While only 1.2 per cent of girls failed Classical Studies – a subject which involves competency in Latin and Greek – the same subject was failed by 9.7 per cent of boys.

The next subjects with the greatest gaps in failure rates between the two sexes were Italian, Spanish, German, History, French, Irish and Technical Graphics.

Read: Almost 59,000 teens receive Junior Cert results

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Gavan Reilly

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