Social and cultural factors affect test scores

Girls Lead in Science Exam, but Not in the United States

"among a representative sample of 15-year-olds around the world, girls generally outperform boys in science — but not in the United States.

"What explains the gap? Andreas Schleicher, who oversees the tests for the O.E.C.D., says different countries offer different incentives for learning science and math. In the United States, he said, boys are more likely than girls to 'see science as something that affects their life.' Then there is the 'stereotype threat.'"

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