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Item A:

According to Masden Pirie of the Adam Smith Institute, the modular courses and continuous
assessment found in education today favour the systematic approach of girls as against the
risk-taking approach of boys. Pirie argues that the old O level exam (replaced by GCSE in 1998), `with
its high…

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The introduction of GCSE examinations and coursework may contribute in the gender differences
in achievement. Stephen Gorard found that in 1975, the gender gap in achievement remained the same;
however, in 1988-9, it increased sharply. This was the year GCSE was introduced. Moreover, in this year,
coursework became a major…

Page 3

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In conclusion, I would say gender differences in achievement are down to equal opportunities
policies, positive role models in schools, GCSE and coursework, changing stereotypes in the Curriculum,
and selection and league tables. The fact that society's way of thinking, and beliefs about women's role
in society, has influenced girls'…


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