Sydney Girls High School students Alison Correia 17, Jiahui Vivian Zhu 18, Fiona Chen 17, Mansha Jiwane 17 and Jessica Xue 17. Picture: Tim Hunter.
Sydney Girls High School students Alison Correia 17, Jiahui Vivian Zhu 18, Fiona Chen 17, Mansha Jiwane 17 and Jessica Xue 17. Picture: Tim Hunter.

Girls rule the ATAR as boys fall behind

NSW boys have been slipping behind in the ATAR rankings for the past 10 years in a trend which statisticians have described as "troubling".

Yesterday 56,127 students received their ATAR ranking and 46 got the perfect score of 99.95.

Males dominated those receiving the top mark with 27 boys getting the top honour compared to 19 females.

However University Admissions Centre spokeswoman Kim Paino said there was a worrying trend which found the majority of boys have been slipping behind the girls for the past 10 years.

UAC statisticians found the most likely scaled score for a male would be an ATAR of 68.35, while the most likely scaled score for a female would be an ATAR of 78.70.

"All things being equal, there should be the same number of boys and girls at every point of the ATAR distribution," she said.

"The boys in the middle are not doing as well as the girls in the middle."

"When you get into the middle part where most of the people are, there are not as many boys as you would expect, they're not performing as well as the girls."

"It is something we wanted to highlight, from the statisticians who calculate the ATAR, it is troubling as well because it highlights boys are not reaching their potential in their preparation for university."

Yesterday, 8952 students frantically changed their choice of university course in the three hours after the ATAR results were released at 9am.

The girls received a median ATAR of 71.10, while boys were behind receiving 67.80. The median ATAR across both sexes was 69.65.

James Ruse Agricultural High School received seven students with the top 99.95, up from last year when they had six.

James Ruse Agricultural High School HSC students that achieved an ATAR of 99.95. Picture: Jonathan Ng
James Ruse Agricultural High School HSC students that achieved an ATAR of 99.95. Picture: Jonathan Ng

Sydney Grammar School had four students this year with the perfect score.

More students than last year have accepted an early offer to university, with 12,000 students already given a place.

Sydney Girls High School student Fiona Chen, 17, got the impressive ATAR mark of 99.90, one off the perfect score.

She said a relaxed attitude toward studying was what got her through.

"I would come home and take a one hour break, I was probably studying three hours a day at night.

"Year 12 is often built up to be this really big challenge, this huge difficult thing but in reality but long as you work to your own expectations and not think about what others are doing."

She wants to study commerce at university to calculate risk for banks and insurance companies.

Sydney Girls High Principal Andrea Connell said this year, one student topped the state in modern history and another had come second in drama.

"In languages we have a third in the state in French Extensions and a third in the state in French Continuers."

James Ruse student Yoo-Jeong Shin achieved an ATAR of 99.95. Picture: Jonathan Ng
James Ruse student Yoo-Jeong Shin achieved an ATAR of 99.95. Picture: Jonathan Ng

 

"The students here work exceptionally hard and they deserve everything they get and they support each other," she said.

Raymond Li, 18, received the perfect score at James Ruse High School, after topping the state in Chemistry and Extension 1 Mathematics.

He said his study was mainly during in the weeks leading up to the exams and he played chess online as an outlet.

"I studied in the week or two before exams, before that it was more relaxed," he said.

Specialist in Boys Education said males falling behind wasn't just limited to Australia but was happening all around the world.

"Girls are catching up in many ways," he said.

"We have to coach boys about the kind of behaviour that schools like."

He said schools had to get better at being friendlier to the natural masculinity and physicality of boys.

"We have to work much harder, 'sit down and shut up and write this' doesn't work for boys, it is what boys complain about the most."



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