The gender gap in mathematics achievement: Vietnamese students in American Mathematics Competitions

Anh Vinh Le, Dien Bui, My Ngoc Tran, Van Luan Vu, Thi Thu Trang Phung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Addressing gender equality in education has always been one of the crucial Sustainable Development Goals advocated by the United Nations. To achieve this goal, many countries are tackling gender inequality in mathematics and STEM subjects where the achievement gaps historically favoured male students. Vietnam has one of the highest maths performance gaps worldwide, demonstrated by international maths competitions (e.g., PISA) with males often outperforming females. Research on gender gap in maths in Vietnam is, however, still in its infancy, which challenges policy makers and relevant authorities to create positive changes to the current education system. This study analysed test scores of 23,932 Vietnamese students participating in the American Mathematics Competitions 8 (AMC8) from 2016 to 2020 to investigate the issue of gender (in)equality in secondary maths education in Vietnam. Evidence of gender gap was found, especially among the top 500 highest achievers. The research demonstrated that boys showed a higher rate of participation and achieved higher average scores compared to their female peers. Among top achievers, gender gap was in favour of boys, especially in the strand of algebraic content. This study is amongst the first to conduct statistical analyses of maths scores data by gender in Vietnam. It aims to provide guidelines for future research and contribute to policymaking in an attempt to address gender equality in Vietnam’s education. © 2023, Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Inc.. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-154
Number of pages18
JournalIssues in Educational Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


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