While the gender gap in examination results are closing, this is not the case at Oxford and elsewhere, despite some improvements. Research shows that it is NOT because of: differential intelligence; differential mathematical ability; lowered efficiency of female selection at admissions; disadvantage for state school students; lower self-efficacy and confidence; anxiety; physical differences, or; pre-menstrual syndrome.

Researchers have mooted many other plausible explanations, some of which may have resonance in Hong Kong. These include stereotype threat theory; assessment environment; differential approach to learning; teaching styles; understanding of assessment criteria; differential approach to examinations; ‘sudden death’ examinations; examination anxiety; possibility of examiner ‘bias’; declining female academic self-concept; perfectionism; psycho­social factors. FULL DETAILS