The most recent Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) (2009) mathematical literacy results provide evidence that in Western English-speaking countries, including Australia, the gender gap in achievement appears to be widening in favour of males. In the study reported in this article, the aim was to explore the effects of gender, school type (a measure of socioeconomic background), school learning setting and geographic location on mathematics performance amongst the highest achievers (top 2 %) in the grade 12 Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) mathematics subjects based on results reported in a metropolitan newspaper. The analyses revealed that over the period 2007–2009, males, students from higher socioeconomic backgrounds and those attending metropolitan schools predominated amongst the highest achievers in all three VCE mathematics subjects. Students in single-sex settings, particularly males, were also over-represented. For each factor, the dominance was more pronounced as the level of difficulty of the mathematics subject increased.
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Forgasz, H.J., Hill, J.C. FACTORS IMPLICATED IN HIGH MATHEMATICS ACHIEVEMENT. Int J of Sci and Math Educ 11, 481–499 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-012-9348-x