Boys score rare victory at A-level

Boys at independent schools have scored better A-level results than girls at the top level.

Figures published by the Independent Schools Council today show that one in 14 boys (6.8 per cent) obtained at least three A*-grade passes compared with 5.8 per cent of girls. The figures appear to bear out claims by some academics that boys do deliver at the top level.

This year's exams reintroduced more searching, open-ended questions designed to test critical thinking skills.

Overall, more girls than boys (19 per cent compared to 17.3 per cent) scored at least one A* grade.

Wycombe Abbey School in Buckinghamshire, a girls' school, came top of the A-level league table for the second year running. The school recorded a point score of 561.2 – the equivalent of four A* grades per pupil. Cynthia Hall, its headmistress, said students need greater opportunities to show their "originality and creativity", and that online model-answers and mark schemes have taken the "mystique" out of what markers are looking for.

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