Boys' performance in exams tends to be more extreme than that of girls, as more of them achieve top grades or fails, new research has revealed.
Although boys are ahead of girls in the percentage of A* passes at A-level, the proportion achieving at least a C-grade pass is at least seven percentage points behind their female peers, the Independent reports.
The research, by Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment at Buckingham University, reveals that boys perform particularly well in maths and further maths - 26.5 per cent get an A*, compared to 8.5 per cent on average.
"Overall, girls tend to do better than boys at A-level but whereas the performance of girls on average is higher, boys tend to achieve more top grades and are also more likely to fail," the report states.
"Male prominence at the extremes is typical of the gender difference on a wide range of tests and examinations."
Maths became the most popular A-level subject for the first time ever last year, with the highest number of exam candidates.
Professor Smithers expects the rise in popularity to continue this year and boys will retain their lead over girls in A* passes.
He predicts this year's results will be similar to last year's, when 26 per cent obtained A or A* grades and the pass rate was 98 per cent.
Professor Smithers added that Ofqual has brought grade inflation under control by pegging the pass grades to the level reached in 2010, describing the resulting grades as "less fun" but "more believable".
This year's A-level results are set to be announced on August 13th.
Posted by Alan Douglas