"Girls may be outraged by this, but the man in charge of admissions at Oxford University believes boys do better in exams like science because they are better at taking risks".
"It depends on the subject discipline,” says Mike Nicholson, the director of undergraduate admissions. “We have generally seen male students tend to be much more prepared to take risks, which is why they do well in exams. “Generally, female students are risk-averse, and will tend to take longer to think about an answer. If it’s a multiple-choice question, male students will generally go with their gut feeling. Girls will try and reason it out.” What impact does that have on the results? “Obviously, if you are using timed multiple-choice assessments, that has a bearing on the likelihood of the female students even finishing the section, when the boys have whizzed through it. He admits to talking in “broad brush strokes” — but Thursday’s A-level results revealed that seven out of 10 students who sat English papers this year were girls, while eight out of 10 in physics exams were boys. There was an increase in both trends, widening the gender gap in a year when record numbers of students passed their A-levels.