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2013 SAT test results show that a huge math gender gap persists with a 32-point advantage for high school boys

sat1

sat2The College Board released its 2013 SAT college-entrance test results today, and here are some highlights:

1. Continuing an uninterrupted trend that dates back to at least 1972, high school boys outperformed girls on the 2013 SAT math test with an average score of 531 points compared to the average score of 499 for females, see top chart above.  The statistically significant 32-point male advantage this year on the SAT math test is one point lower than the 33-point difference last year, and just slightly below the 34.3 point difference over the last two decades favoring boys.

2. For scores in the highest 100-point range of 700-800 on the 2013 math SAT test, boys outnumbered girls by 74,461 to 46,040, which would mean that there were 162 boys for every 100 girls scoring at 700 points or above. To account for the large difference in the number of girls taking the SAT test (884,000) compared to boys (776,000), we can calculate that 9.6% of boys taking the math SAT exam in 2013 scored between 700-800 points compared to 5.2% the girls taking the test, for an adjusted ratio of 184 boys per 100 girls scoring at 700 points or above.

The College Board also reports 2012 SAT math test results by gender for all scores between 200 to 800 in 10-point increments (data here), and the male-female ratios for each of those 10-point increments are displayed in the bottom chart above.  Here are some observations:

3. Male students outnumbered females for all 2013 math SAT scores of 590 (73rd percentile) and above.

4. As SAT math scores increased by 10-point intervals from 590 to 800, the male-female ratio increased in almost all cases, reaching a peak male-female ratio of 2-to-1 for test scores of 790.

5. Like above, we can adjust for the fact that more young women than men took the SAT test in 2013, and compare the percentage of males who earned perfect scores of 800 points (1.12%) to the percentage of females with perfect scores (0.52%), which produces an adjusted male-female ratio of 2.14-to-1 (vs. the 1.88 unadjusted ratio) for students who scored a perfect score of 800 points. For scores of 790 points, boys outnumbered girls by a ratio of 2-to-1 (3,282 to 1,642) and when adjusted for the differences in sample size, the male-female ratio was 2.28-to-1 (0.42% vs. 0.19%).

One possible explanation for the fact that high school boys consistently score higher on average than girls on the math SAT test, and outnumber girls by almost 2-to-1 for perfect scores, would be that boys are better students on average than girls and are better prepared in mathematics than their female classmates.  But that explanation would be false, when you consider the following data provided by the College Board for students taking the 2013 SAT test:

6. For 2013 SAT test-takers, high school girls had superior overall academic high school records compared to boys: 56% of the students in the top 10 percent of their graduating classes were female, 59% of the students graduating with an A+ grade point average were female, and high schools girls graduated with a higher overall average GPA of 3.44 compared to a 3.30 average GPA for their male counterparts.

7. High school girls were over-represented in advanced AP/Honors math classes (54%) compared to boys (46%), and also in advanced AP/Honors science classes by 56% to 44%.

8. For those high school students taking four years of high school mathematics, girls were over-represented (52%) compared to boys (48%), and more of the students studying natural sciences for four years were female students (53%) than male (47%).

Bottom Line: Even though female high school students are better prepared academically on many different measures than their male classmates, both overall and for mathematics specifically, female high school students score significantly lower on the SAT math test, and the +30-point differences in test scores favoring males has persisted for generations.  At the high end of math performance, high school males significantly outperformed their female peers on the 2013 SAT math test by a ratio of about 2-1 for perfect and near-perfect scores, and that outcome has persisted for generations.

And yet, despite the persistent, statistically significant differences in math performance by gender on the math SAT test that continue over time, we frequently hear statements like this: “There just aren’t gender differences anymore in math performance,” says University of Wisconsin-Madison psychology professor Janet Hyde, “So parents and teachers need to revise their thoughts about this.  Stereotypes are very, very resistant to change, but as a scientist I have to challenge them with data.”

Given the significant and persistent gender differences in SAT math test scores that have persisted over many generations, the scientific data about gender differences in math performance would seem to present a serious challenge to Professor Hyde’s claims that there are no gender differences in math performance.

Further, the fact that women are underrepresented in STEM occupations and hold only 26% of STEM jobs according to a 2013 Department of Commerce report certainly isn’t because female students are being discouraged from studying math and science in high school. In fact, the evidence shows that females are excelling in math and science in high school – they are overrepresented in AP/Honors math and science courses, and are more likely than their male counterparts to take four years of math and science.

Further, compared to boys, high school girls get better grades on average, and are far more likely to graduate in the top 10% of their high school classes, and much more likely than boys to attend and graduate from college.  By all objective measures, girls have essentially all of the necessary ingredients that should result in greater representation in STEM fields like engineering and computer science except perhaps for one: a huge, statistically significant +30-point gender gap on the SAT math test in favor of boys that persists over time. And if there are some innate differences by gender for mathematical ability, as the huge and persistent gender differences for the math SAT test suggests, closing the STEM gender jobs gap may be a futile attempt in socially engineering an unnatural, and unachievable, outcome.

54 thoughts on “2013 SAT test results show that a huge math gender gap persists with a 32-point advantage for high school boys

  1. Clear evidence of discrimination. The correct left wing solution is to add points to all the results for females. Additionally to require at least 50% of all students in math classes to be female and 50% of all jobs requiring math proficiency to be female. If this does not work then additional anti-boy reforms could be instituted in schools to make sure the boys don’t excel. This has worked so well for us in race based discrimination placing incompetent people into jobs they don’t qualify for will solve this problem.

      • ken-

        i think this “meritocracy” idea of yours is simply too radical a notion to be put into practice.

        ps.

        i think anyone favoring affirmative action for engineering education and hiring should be forced to fly ONLY on airplanes designed and build by affirmative action students and employees.

        let’s see how support looks then.

      • Yeah, I have come across that article before, and it appears to be linked by a wide range of blogs. Excellent piece; but scary to learn how bad things have become.

        Highly recommended.

    • Innate gender difference in math ability? C’mon. Remember Larry Summers? Made a similar comment with no basis. Look what happened to him!

      Did it ever occur to you that the problem is with the test? That it tests what boys are good at rather than what girls are good at?

      Do you consider that what happens to girls in college science classes is part of the problem? I’ve seen overt bias against women. That first year engineering survey courses are designed as weed out courses?

      Women in science unnatural??? I’m appalled.

      • You say the idea of innate ability is ridiculous and then you say the reason men perform better is because they test what men are good at. Wtf, make up your mind.
        It’s a math test, it tests your skill in math. If you say men perform better because it tests something they’re good at, then you’re saying men perform better because men are better in math.
        Also the SAT is not a college test. It’s a college admission test taken in high school, so whatever discrimination women go or don’t go through in college has nothing to do with the results.

        • morganovich,

          “i have not laughed so hard in weeks.”

          Typical response to someone who has been intellectually outclassed, and knows it.

          The poll in that article shows 90% in favor and only 7% taking your position. You are, yet again, in the loserish minority.

          90% to 7%. That is 12 to 1 in favor.

          And you know it.

          Heh heh heh heh…

          • toads-

            ooh, we touched a nerve, huh?

            that’s not an article, it’s a long, misanthropic rant by a bunch of omega makes dreaming that it’s women that are keeping them from being alphas.

            i think that you’ll find that if you poll “dudes who live in their mom’s basement and dream of being skilled in the “venusian” arts and running “the game” while playing MMORPG’s” you’ll get all sorts of bad answers.

            you are not even in an intellectual class.

            you’re just a bitter, disaffected clown who seems to have a real problem with women.

            you do realize that according to the “four horsemen of male emancipation” that your article cites, you’re going to be one of the guys that stays home and uses the increasingly sophisticated porn that they cite as the second horseman, right?

            guys that are actually good at attracting mates do not read stuff like this

            i think xkcd nailed you dead on.

            the reason you continually cite articles that claim a male right to female submission and the need for patriarchy is that you cannot command respect on your own.

            you’re just another sad sack trying to blame your inadequacies on someone else.

            there are legitimate critiques of affirmative action etc and i will the first to level them, but that is not what you are doing.

            you are seeking male primacy, female submission, and codified patriarchy.

            that is not a standard for fair. your baseline is skewed. in fact, it makes you a rank hypocrite as you go after women for seeking advantage by seeking a system that codifies your advantage.

            you are precisely what you profess to despise.

          • ken-

            please take a quick look at the link from toads.

            i know you were concerned that others were not portraying his views correctly.

            however, if you read the stuff he, himself cites, i think you’ll find that we were being generous.

            skip down to the bottom and read about the :4 horsemen of male emancipation”:

            1. learning to manipulate women and be dishonest

            2. haptically interactive porn

            3. moving to places where women are easier to dominate

            and

            4. honestly, i’m not even sure. he seems upset about paying taxes (which is certainly not an invalid viewpoint) but just how this is all women’s fault and what one is supposed to do about it is unclear.

            again, if you think i am exaggerating, please, refer to the primary source material.

            it’s one thing to oppose affirmative action and outcomes leveling. i oppose those things as, i think , do you.

            but to go the next step and demand primacy for the patriarchy is quote another.

            definitely refer to the “required reading” entitled “patriarchy works.”

            this is not balanced, liberty oriented fairness being sought. it’s domination and preference.

    • Au contraire! Far from nobody caring, it’s celebrated! It proves that girls are inherently better than boys. The math scores, on the other hand, demonstrate that boys get some sort of unfair discriminatory leg-up.

      See how it works?

      Only women can manage to snivel and gloat at the same time.

  2. I’d like to see the same break down for the verbal section, as well as the writing section.

    1) There is a reason for this: boys are better at math than girls. Also, for men over the age of 18, the average IQ is 105 with SD of 15, whereas for women it’s 100 with an SD of 10.

    2 and 3) The top level skewing can easily be explained by the above. Roughly 13% of boys have IQ’s above 120, whereas only 2.5% of women have IQs that high.

    6) Studies have consistently shown that boys often peform as well as girls in school academically, but receive lower grades due to boys’ behaviour, which in the feminized environment of America’s education system is perceived as a problem.

      • Google is your friend. This data isn’t hard to find. I pulled these numbers from memory from reading books like The Bell Curve and others like it.

    • The part I don’t get is that if the IQ variance for males is larger, why are there still a lot more females than males at the low end of the SAT math score spectrum? You’d expect all the dumb males at the low end of the spectrum, which there must be more of since their IQ bell curve is more spread out, to get low scores and the second chart above to look more like an upside down bell curve, but it doesn’t. That seems to imply that even the dumb males on the low end of the spectrum are better at math than the dumb females, ie this math effect swamps overall IQ curves.

      I don’t think all this matters much, as math is a useless skill in an age of computers, but I’m curious what’s really going on with these scores.

        • bd-

          then why do they underperform in verbal?

          if it’s only smart guys vs all girls, then you’s expect across the board outperformance. but that is not what we see.

          • I think it’s a combination of men being better at math, and women being better at verbal, which also shows a consistent pattern over time. A woman would need to have a higher IQ than men to have a better score. As the statistics and the graph shows, there aren’t many women at the upper IQ levels.

            This is one of the reasons I’d be interested in seeing a similar chart for the verbal section. To achieve the same score as a woman on the verbal section, a man would need a higher IQ. Are women as dramatically better in the verbal section as men are in math? What effect is there due to the fact that there are many more genius level men than genius level women?

            I think selection bias may also be skewed in favor of woman, meaning that many smart men are forgoing college for other successful pursuits, whereas many less smart women are heading to college.

            I’d like to further see things that study everyone over time, rather than a quick snapshot on a test that has obvious selection bias.

        • So are we seeing here the result of girls being pushed to take the SAT (’cause girrl power) who normally wouldn’t? Or perhaps we are seeing the disengagement of boys from a wildly overpriced and hostile-to-men higher education system.

      • math is a useless skill in the age of computers?

        um, no, it’s more important than ever.

        sure 4+4 might be something you can readily get from a calculator, but to write code, build models, engaging is most forms of engineering and physics, that takes math.

        it’s not enough to get the answer to a differential equation spit out of a machine. if you do not intuitively understand how the equation works, then you cannot really work with it nor understand how it confirms or diverges from reality and interacts with other parts of a model.

        even to understand the output of such models takes an understanding of math and the sorts of abstractions that underpin it.

        understanding abstract relationships is more important than it ever was.

      • bd, Ron, thanks for the explanation, that makes sense to me, that only the top half of the bell curve takes the SAT in the first place. :)

        morganovich, what percentage of the workforce will ever “write code, build models, engaging is most forms of engineering and physics?” 1%? 0.1%? You don’t make everyone learn stuff that only a few ever need to know. You don’t need to “understand” how a differential equation works in order to work with the results of software that implements it. There are thousands of people everyday who use CAD and simulation programs which they cannot possibly know how they work, yet they can still reason somewhat about the results the software spits out. Yes, they can’t ever really challenge the software if it puts out plausible results that are wrong, but the vast majority of them couldn’t do that even if they knew all the math involved. ;)

        “even to understand the output of such models takes an understanding of math and the sorts of abstractions that underpin it.

        understanding abstract relationships is more important than it ever was.”

        Perhaps, but I disagree that most math, ie excepting some basic statistics, is necessary for such an understanding. I can explain the laws of thermodynamics to someone with no reference to any math whatsoever. Unless they plan on measuring and calculating esoteric, simplified physical systems that nobody cares about, that basic math of thermodynamics would not do them any good anyway.

        Best to give them software that ties into sensors or data that they can actually use in real life- along with a high-level, non-mathematical understanding of how it all works for the truly curious- because simply making them learn a bunch of useless mathematical nonsense that they don’t much care for is as likely to turn them off on the whole enterprise of learning as anything else.

        That’s what happens with the math that’s taught today: it is completely useless and just turns off those who are interested in topics like science or economics, but not the underlying math. Engineers like me are there to write the math-based software that they all use. It is a waste of time to make them learn the math itself, just as you don’t have to have any idea how the graphics and physics math of your favorite first-person shooter video game works in order to have fun playing it. :)

          • Quite right, Paul, thanks for echoing my point. :) Just as someone playing baseball only needs to know the simple rules of hitting and base running in order to play the game, most people only need to know the non-mathematical rules of science or economics in order to understand the field and use software for more in-depth uses. Just as some random person playing baseball doesn’t need to know the technical arcana of what areas of the field count as home run or fowl ball territory or what a balk is, those in other fields don’t need to know all the math either. Good example that further buttresses my point. :D

        • but if you do not understand basic math, then you cannot even do simple things like organize a household budget.

          sure, few people will ever need to know linear algebra, but without a basic understanding of mathematical process and thus intuition into what they mean, you are just not going to be functional and will wind up shut out of careers in most of the hotter areas.

          it’s not just it and engineering. it’s mechanics, plumbers, oil rig workers, transport workers, and hundreds of other fields. it’s anyone in finance or capital markets, or even bookkeeping or running a small business or even being in logistics.

          even if you have a program that does your books, not understanding the basic math that underlies it leaves you wide open to making terrible mistakes and unable to plan well.

          it’s not 1%. it’s 80% that need math.

          the laws of thermodynamics are not the issue. the laws of economics and finance are. the basic ability to assess debt levels, plan for contingencies, manage a household or business budget, are critical.

          and the need to be able to see how abstract piece fit together to both use, plan for, and develop technology is more important that ever.

          the notion that math is somehow unneeded now, in a world that uses so much more is absurd, at lest through the algebra and geometry levels.

          to be mathematically illiterate today is to deeply disadvantaged.

          you are erecting a straw man around video games. sure, you do not need to know how they work to use them. they require zero math.

          but that same is NOT true of tax software, quickbooks, etc. sure, you CAN use them and not understand math, but if you do, you are really playing with fire.

          you need the ability to model this stuff in your head to both check results and to plan.

          if your point is that most people do not need calculus, then i agree though i disagree that it need be dry and is useless as the ability to think in integrals and derivatives and work back and forth through vectors and accelerations and jerk are useful in many, many areas.

          mostly, it’s just taught badly.

          but to not get at least a solid grounding in algebra and geometry (which is what we are talking about here, the SAT has no calculus) is to be doomed, and not to grasp mathematical relationships at a solid level is to be largely excluded from actually managing and running most things.

          • “but if you do not understand basic math, then you cannot even do simple things like organize a household budget.”

            Sure you can, there’s software that will do it for you. :) It will put everything in nice bar graphs and pie charts, so you don’t even need to know numbers to visually understand that your budget is tight or you’re spending too much.

            “sure, few people will ever need to know linear algebra, but without a basic understanding of mathematical process and thus intuition into what they mean, you are just not going to be functional and will wind up shut out of careers in most of the hotter areas.”

            “A basic understanding of mathematical process” is not very specific, as you likely include more in the “basics” than me, but in any case it is a far cry from all the math that’s forced on people today. As I’ve said before, I’d limit the math requirement to a basic understanding that numbers represent quantities and high-level basic understanding of arithmetic, like addition represents combining two numbers together, without worrying people at all about how that arithmetic is implemented, unless they’re curious and decide to explore for themselves. Maybe throw in some high-level statistical concepts too. I took AP calculus in high school yet was never exposed to any stats until college, that shows what a joke current curricula and public education are. Everything beyond that: the implementation details of arithmetic, geometry, algebra, calculus, and so on is completely useless when computers can easily be programmed to do it all for you at much lower cost.

            What are these “hotter areas” that require math? Cuz as one of Mark’s earlier links shows, it’s certainly not STEM jobs.

            “it’s not just it and engineering. it’s mechanics, plumbers, oil rig workers, transport workers, and hundreds of other fields. it’s anyone in finance or capital markets, or even bookkeeping or running a small business or even being in logistics.”

            Any math required for most of these fields is better done in software. With the exception of perhaps mechanics and plumbers, who deal with so little math that it’s perhaps better they do that simple stuff in their head rather than having to bust out their smartphone with their greasy hands, any of the rest of those occupations are likely doing a very bad job if they aren’t using software to do the math for them.

            “even if you have a program that does your books, not understanding the basic math that underlies it leaves you wide open to making terrible mistakes and unable to plan well.”

            It depends what you mean by “understanding the basic math.” ;) If you mean a high-level understanding of addition and subtraction, as I described above, that’s not really math, more of an intellectual concept. Math itself is the implementation, and if you are sitting down and calculating your numbers by hand to double-check the software, you are far more likely to get it wrong than the software. :)

            “it’s not 1%. it’s 80% that need math.”

            It’s less than .1%. 80% is a joke pushed by the teachers, who wouldn’t know what’s useful if it hit them upside the head.

            “the laws of thermodynamics are not the issue. the laws of economics and finance are. the basic ability to assess debt levels, plan for contingencies, manage a household or business budget, are critical.”

            Yet none of those are dependent on being able to sit down and do the math either.

            “and the need to be able to see how abstract piece fit together to both use, plan for, and develop technology is more important that ever.”

            There is zero evidence that knowing math helps you “see how abstract piece fit together.” If anything, it’s likely that forcing all that math on people lessens their ability to think abstractly about such non-math topics that actually matter, as people’s mental capacities are limited and forcing more of that math crap in leaves less space for more useful abstract concepts.

            “the notion that math is somehow unneeded now, in a world that uses so much more is absurd, at lest through the algebra and geometry levels.”

            Algebra and geometry? Ha ha, don’t make me laugh, :D two completely useless topics if ever there were any, now that software does the job so much better. I wouldn’t even require the nuts of bolts of arithmetic, ie people would know that 135 + 253 represents adding 135 to 253 but wouldn’t know how to calculate it by hand: they’d simply punch it into a calculator app on their smartphone, in the few occasions that would ever be necessary in the first place.

            “to be mathematically illiterate today is to deeply disadvantaged.”

            It is an advantage not to know things you don’t need, just as you don’t know how to survive on a deserted tropical island, how to properly wash all your clothes by hand, or the entire works of Chaucer. If you are curious about these topics, great, go to it, but forcing such knowledge on people is moronic.

            “you are erecting a straw man around video games. sure, you do not need to know how they work to use them. they require zero math.

            but that same is NOT true of tax software, quickbooks, etc. sure, you CAN use them and not understand math, but if you do, you are really playing with fire.

            you need the ability to model this stuff in your head to both check results and to plan.”

            My point is that just as one can play video games without knowing math, the same is true for all the math-based software you list, which can better display that data through visualizations than raw numbers. Video gamers have no problem “modeling” stuff in their head without knowing the underlying physics math of the game, the same is true for the other software you list.

            “if your point is that most people do not need calculus, then i agree though i disagree that it need be dry and is useless as the ability to think in integrals and derivatives and work back and forth through vectors and accelerations and jerk are useful in many, many areas.

            mostly, it’s just taught badly.”

            No, mostly it is all completely useless to learn when the software will do it for you orders of magnitude better. It is all still taught only because the education system is completely bankrupt, where they keep teaching the same old crap for decades past its sell-by date. The true revolution in online learning will come not when somebody like Khan Academy slaps the same old crap online, but when they take the opportunity of this online disruption to chuck all the useless parts of the school curricula. More than 90% of it should be thrown out.

            “but to not get at least a solid grounding in algebra and geometry (which is what we are talking about here, the SAT has no calculus) is to be doomed, and not to grasp mathematical relationships at a solid level is to be largely excluded from actually managing and running most things.”

            Heh, we will soon test this with online learning. :) I’m confident that not knowing “algebra and geometry” will not affect people at all “from actually managing and running most things,” so you are dead wrong about the need for math.

      • Because the people taking the SAT are self selecting college goers. Those at the bottom of the IQ scale don’t take the SAT. Also, you’ll not that at the bottom of test scale, the graph starts to curve back up. Both dumb boys and dumb girls don’t take the SAT, but more girls go to college than boys, which means that there are more girls at the low end of IQ taking the test than boys. Also, the low end of the IQ tale for girls equates to a higher IQ.

        Two SD away from the mean for men is an IQ of 75, where as for women the being two SD away from the mean is an IQ of 80. In other words, there are more men with an IQ of 75 or less than men.

  3. Perhaps I am too quick to consider the possibility of a conspiracy, but I wonder if Common Core is not in part an anti-male conspiracy. Consider that math curricula are being redone to include more verbalization and giving more credit to the right words that the correct answer. Given that females have traditionally done better in language skills, perhaps there is some merit to my surmise.

    • Ken

      You could very well be correct, but I suspect Common core is mostly just more of the relentless growth of federal government at the expense of state and local decision making.

      • You got it on the fed control thing. Common Core takes all of what is bad in education and makes it worse. Challenges younger students beyond their mental development, causing them frustration and a hatred for school, while leaving older children underchallenged. MORE regimentation, tests that include psychometrics, and will be used as brainwashing tools, along with a comprehensive data base that will tell the government about everything there is to know about not only the child but also his family. Things like work history, health history, social security numbers, sexual orientation, voter registration status and voting history, gun ownership and more. Common Core is nothing less than a tool of tyranny.
        In addition, the changes are likely to drive out the more independent minded and innovative teachers, as they must conform to the “norm” as established by CC.

  4. One thing to note, the SAT math is basically 1st year algebra and Geometry – maybe 3rd year algebra falls in it as well. So the fact that a girl might be doing fantastic in AP Calculus, as a Senior, doesn’t necessarily help. In fact it can hurt, if the boy took Algebra as a Freshman and Geometry as a Sophmore – which is standard the details will be more fresh in the head of the boy rather than the girl who took Algebra in 7th grade and Geometry in 8th as part of her advanced program.

    Plus another, think I think boys like puzzles more. SAT purposely misdraws diagrams to make them look like the answer should be something else, and puts in answers to choose that look too suspiciously good.

    Here is an example I remember.
    If I asked you how many lines you can draw perpendicular to another line you would probably think Hmm, probably infinate!

    but if presented with the info this way
    Diagram:
    +

    How many lines you can draw perpendicular to another line – hmm, looks like one – bam.

    Maybe guys like puzzle more?

    • marque-

      but the SAT uses similar techniques for the verbal portion including using all awful descriptions about what a paragraph was about and asking which was best and laying out trap answers there as well, and yet girls do better than boys on it.

      if they struggled with both, you might have a point, but because they only do so one one, it would seem to suggest that the answer lies elsewhere.

      it’s a brain structure thing. male and female brains are not the same. my girlfriend is a neuroscientist and she has shown me several times how this is true and how every reputable researcher in the actual hard science knows it.

      so why then should we search for excuses for divergent capabilities?

      it seems obvious that they should exist.

      • Just need a bit of training. Everything in the answer section was directly written in the essay portion. It isn’t like the California Star test they give the kids where the answer is ambiguious. ‘Why did the put the pebbles in the jar” is never in the story about the plants, you just have to guess something – keep the stems straight, make the water higher, both seem like good answers, wish the story told me.

        The part that is difficult is the antonym/analogy sections. There are little taught things you can teach there as well. Like how to form a basic analogy. Someone showed me and next time I took the test my score shot up dramatically – oh that is what they want.

        Anyway the real difficult part there is the vocabulary. They use a lot of words that are difficult or underused in todays society. Who knows about Daguerreotypes – the old copper plating photo technique” They also use backwards forms of words Ruth instead of Ruthless and you need to assume Ruth means the opposite. The reason girls do so well, is because women’s brains are much more geared towards vocabulary and speech. They pick up words better and tend to have a richer vocabulary, and a more innate understanding of how language works.

        Personally I prefer the ACT over SAT since it tests pure knowledge and figuring ability. You might be the most brilliant person in the world at analogies but are stumped by the heavy vocabulary, and I don’t think that really tests your reasoning ability.

        • marque-

          i do not understand your reasoning here.

          on the one hand, you seem to be arguing that women’s brains are more geared toward vocab and speech, so they do better on that section, but on the other, you seemed to be arguing for mitigating factors on boys being better on the math section (timing of classes etc).

          i don’t get it. are you saying that differing brains account for differing performance or no? you seem to be on both sides of this.

          • I am saying there are a lot of factors. And all the push in schools to boost girls may not be helping in math, since they have moved on to other topics not related to the SAT.

            Usually in English you continue to pick up words and enhance your understanding as you age, as part of the normal scheme of things two different topics, two different styles of learning.

            I am also not denying boys do better in math just because. It has been this way forever. Should pointing out how feminist doctrine might be hurting the girls more than helping them, at least in math.

            As far as public schools go, I am glad both my children are girls because what I see them do to the boys is just a shame. They all seem to turn off by second grade because they are not allowed to play and act out like they used to. Meanwhile all the study material has been refocused to be PC and geared toward girl interests in hopes of helping them go into sciences, or whatever they are suppose to do. One of my daughters is in a home school charter school. The other goes to public school because of the Spanish program, but we are getting fed up with the bizarreness. I wish my daughter could stay one more year to get her Spanish foundation, but it is becoming untenable even with the new girl based curriculum.

      • Just need a bit of training. Everything in the answer section was directly written in the essay portion. It isn’t like the California Star test they give the kids where the answer is ambiguious. ‘Why did the put the pebbles in the jar” is never in the story about the plants, you just have to guess something – keep the stems straight, make the water higher, both seem like good answers, wish the story told me. .

        The part that is difficult is the antonym/analogy sections. There are little taught things you can teach there as well. Like how to form a basic analogy. Someone showed me and next time I took the test my score shot up dramatically – oh that is what they want.

        Anyway the real difficult part there is the vocabulary. They use a lot of words that are difficult or underused in todays society. Who knows about Daguerreotypes – the old copper plating photo technique” They also use backwards forms of words Ruth instead of Ruthless and you need to assume Ruth means the opposite. The reason girls do so well, is because women’s brains are much more geared towards vocabulary and speech. They pick up words better and tend to have a richer vocabulary, and a more innate understanding of how language works.

        Personally I prefer the ACT over SAT since it tests pure knowledge and figuring ability. You might be the most brilliant person in the world at analogies but are stumped by the heavy vocabulary, and I don’t think that really tests your reasoning ability.

  5. Boys are better at abstract thinking than girls, which explains their dominance in SAT math tests, competitive chess at the highest levels, and professions like computer and mechanical engineering.

    Women are better at following directions, which explains much of their outperformance in school, where learning is less important than doing what you’re told to do.

      • that’s an interesting side note.

        one of my best friends, who could have sent his boys to any private school in manhattan, chose to send them to an all boys school. (for kindergarten and elementary school)

        what really impressed him was that the school really know boys and centered the class day around them. there are fewer long periods of sitting still, more frequent short stints of strenuous activity, and a very different general tone to the teaching.

        there is a great deal of evidence than boys and girls have different learning styles. this would seem to indicate that one size fits all teaching is always going to be hard on one or the other.

        i went to a boarding school in new england. there used to be lots of all boy or all girl schools.

        this is not longer true.

        pretty much all the non military schools that were all bot are now co ed.

        there are still several all girl schools, but not as many as there were.

        while i have no actual evidence on way or the other, it does seem plausible that “equal access” demands may have actually deprived both groups of opportunities that might have been better for them.

        personally, i’m glad to have gone to a co ed school as 4 years in the woods with guys did not sound that appealing, but there is nothing to say that that would not be different for others.

  6. It’s pointless to argue about WHY boys are more successful at math. The important point is their success should be punished until their performance comes down to the women’s level.

  7. Interesting. I effortlessly aced math and science in an all girls high school, then got killed in those subjects at a competitive flagship state university. After withdrawing, picking up the pieces at a community college, changing majors (from chemistry to econ major/math minor), and transferring back to another university, I was among the 25% of graduating economics majors in my college class who were female. Most women in my position would have switched to a nonquantitative major, but I liked quantitative subjects. I knew I could learn the material but that I needed more time/prereq courses than my first college offered. Also, I had done enough analysis on college graduates’ earnings to realize that college major has a much larger influence than college prestige on future income.

    When comparing my SAT score to my GRE score I went up 70 points in math (to 790 on the GRE vs 720 on the SAT) and down 20 points in verbal (from 710 on the SAT to 690 on the GRE). I know that scores on the two tests can’t directly be compared, but it would be interesting to note whether any gender differences exist in SAT – GRE score correlation by major/college coursework.

    Also, high school grades are influenced heavily by conduct while college grades are influenced more by test scores and term papers. One poster mentioned single-gender schools – while those might be good for those students whose skills fit their gender averages, it would not be good for boys with strong verbal skills or girls with strong math skills. Why not improve instruction in both math and english for all students who demonstrate the ability and interest to do well? I’m not saying students should be forced to take excessively difficult courses, but if they’re effortlessly getting A’s, then doing poorly on tests (AP, SAT II, etc.) that cover the material, then perhaps the course teaching methods/grading criteria should be reexamined.

  8. these numbers don’t mean much without the rest of the statistics. How many of each gender took the test? what is the bell curve distribution of all boys and girls? How many boys and girls did not take the test? These numbers as reported are inadequate to make a conclusion.

  9. I do not pretend to understand the differences in SAT math scores between young men and young ladies. However, as a retired engineer (successful in the field of microwaves – an IEEE Life Fellow), I have had at least limited experience with female engineers. Our field had far too few of them, but those few were often outstanding and amongst the most respected in our profession. If we could entice more young ladies to choose engineering, I would expect the profession and society would benefit greatly.

  10. This data just can’t be correct! God, in Her infinite wisdom would NEVER create an universe where one sex is better at something than another, because it just wouldn’t be fair. After all, She created men and women to be equal in upper body strength, and foot and swimming speed, and jumping ability didn’t She? Why would She do anything different when it came to cognitive abilities?
    There’s pretty obviously NO amount of data that will convince some people that cognitive differences truly exist. Everything can always be explained away by “stereotype threat”, “gender stereotyping”, whatever. Of course, it “helps” that these kinds of SOCIAL effects are much, much harder to quantify. And everyone knows that these exams are just UNFAIR. Seriously, some of these things may actually be true, but the point is that there’s no reason to think that thousands of generations of evolution won’t have created cognitive differences the same way it created physical differences. Men and women, through out the great majority of these generations, have lived very different lives and had very different experiences, so it’s perfectly reasonable to think that evolution may have been influenced by those differences to create cognitive as well as physical disparities in abilities.

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