Young Girls ‘Fear’ Mathematics More Than Boys, Tend to Underperform: Survey

When it comes to mathematics, boys outperform girls across all classes in school, reveals a survey by edtech company Cuemath. This is more prominent across classes 8 to 10, the report states. Although in classes 7 and 8, girls seem to be more confident, this confidence deteriorates as they move to higher classes like 9 and 10.

In the case of boys, the confidence is consistent across all grades, despite their performance. “The gender gap in performance is a worrying trend which can unfairly affect the future lives of millions of girls and dampening their aspirations,” says Cuemath.

The correlation between perception about Math and performance becomes more significant in higher grades, as per the survey.

The survey was conducted by Cuemath in June 2021 with a sample size of 1600 students to explore key factors like perception, performance, and confidence in mathematics.

As many as 82 per cent of students between classes 7 and 10 are fearful of math and it continues as they progress to higher classes. In classs 7, one in seven students have negative perceptions about Math concepts, and need additional intervention, whereas this number increases to one in four in class 10, according to the survey.

The reason, behind this, is the redundancy of conventional teaching, as well as homeschooling during the pandemic, have added to student woes, resulting in loss of interest and fear of mathematics at a critical juncture of their lives.

The survey further revealed that nearly 6 out of 10 of class 7 students seem to be proficient in basic math concepts such as numbers, applied math, algebra, geometry, and mensuration. However, this number drops down to above a third of all students in classes 8. In class 7, students are enthusiastic about Math but as they move towards higher classes, their motivation levels drop.

Board exams add to the pressure and fear of math, possibly making class 10 graders perform worse than 9 graders by 6 per cent. The confidence levels of students in class 10 drop by 11 per cent compared to grade 7, the report states. Only 2 in 10 students were confident about their math ability across grades 7 to 10.

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