Females fare better in Maths: Study

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FEMALE students are more likely to fare better in Mathematics than their male counterparts in Brunei as they have significantly different personality traits, according to a Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) study.

Females were more self-critical, resilient as well as caring towards their learning and studies compared to males. They also had a higher level of integrity and motivation to achieve their ambitions, the study found.

The study, which surveyed 330 participants from six different sixth form centres in Brunei, found considerable gender differences in five personality characteristics.

Consistent with the findings of previous research in Brunei, the female students scored significantly higher in Mathematics than their male counterparts.

The study by Halimaturradiah Metussin, which was recently published in the Research Journal of Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology, suggested that top-scoring students “had most of the desirable qualities required in studying Mathematics effectively”.

It was found that students who did well in Maths were likely to be more assertive, analytical and intellectual than those with poor performance in the subject.

In addition, individuals with higher Mathematics ability were extroverted, resilient as well as caring towards their learning and studies. Besides having greater integrity, they were also believed to be more goal-oriented.

While average students were more self-critical and possessed leadership qualities, the research showed that low-scoring individuals lacked most of the salient attributes of their peers.

All of the 10 personality variables correlated positively and significantly with achievements scores in the subject, but only self-efficacy, resiliency, integrity and distortion were considered as good predictors of Mathematics ability.

The author recommended providing educational interventions, including remedial teaching, and counselling or psychotherapy, such as on the roles of personality traits, to help weak students in Mathematics in both individual and group settings.

She added that further mixed-methods research is needed to gain a deeper understanding of the problem and come up with solutions.

The Brunei Times