A female advantage in school marks is a common finding in education research, and it extends to most course subjects (e.g., language, math, science), unlike what is found on achievement tests. However, questions remain concerning the quantification of these gender differences and the identification of relevant moderator variables. The present meta-analysis answered these questions by examining studies that included an evaluation of gender differences in teacher-assigned school marks in elementary, junior/middle, or high school or at the university level (both undergraduate and graduate). The final analysis was based on 502 effect sizes drawn from 369 samples. A multilevel approach to meta-analysis was used to handle the presence of nonindependent effect sizes in the overall sample. This method was complemented with an examination of results in separate subject matters with a mixed-effects meta-analytic model. A small but significant female advantage (mean d = 0.225, 95% CI [0.201, 0.249]) was demonstrated for the overall sample of effect sizes. Noteworthy findings were that the female advantage was largest for language courses (mean d = 0.374, 95% CI [0.316, 0.432]) and smallest for math courses (mean d = 0.069, 95% CI [0.014, 0.124]). Source of marks, nationality, racial composition of samples, and gender composition of samples were significant moderators of effect sizes. Finally, results showed that the magnitude of the female advantage was not affected by year of publication, thereby contradicting claims of a recent "boy crisis" in school achievement. The present meta-analysis demonstrated the presence of a stable female advantage in school marks while also identifying critical moderators. Implications for future educational and psychological research are discussed.
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