Boys and girls written responses to PISA science questions

Nina Eliasson, KG Karlsson, Lena Lenner, Maria Lundgren


  1. For the first time student responses to science questions from the Swedish PISA 2006 Main Study and the PISA 2015 Field Trial have been used in order to investigate differences in boys’ and girls’ written responses. Students’ correct and incorrect answers to the science questions are studied with respect to response length, the number of everyday words used, and the inclusion of nouns and long words in the responses. The results reveal that girls give longer and denser correct responses to most of the questions, compared to boys. The difference in response length cannot be explained by girls’ excessive use of the most common Swedish words, since boys and girls use the same proportion of these words. For incorrect answers the only difference between boys and girls is in the response length, since girls give longer answers than boys.


PISA Science Questions, written ansers, gendered differences

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