The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a triennial international survey which aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students.
In 2015 over half a million students, representing 28 million 15-year-olds in 72 countries and economies, took the internationally agreed two-hour test. Students were assessed in science, mathematics, reading, collaborative problem solving and financial literacy.
The results of the 2015 assessment were published on 6th December 2016.
While spending per student in primary and secondary education increased by almost 20% since 2006 in OECD countries alone, only 12 of the 72 countries and economies assessed in PISA have seen their science performance improve over this period. These include high-performing education systems, such as Singapore and Macao (China), and low-performers, such as Peru and Colombia.
- Singapore outperforms all other participating countries/economies in science. Japan, Estonia, Finland and Canada, in descending order of mean science performance, are the four highest- performing OECD countries.
- Some 8% of students across OECD countries (and 24% of students in Singapore) are top performers in science, meaning that they are proficient at Level 5 or 6. Students at these levels are sufficiently skilled in and knowledgeable about science to creatively and autonomously apply their knowledge and skills to a wide variety of situations, including unfamiliar ones.
- About 20% of students in OECD countries, on average, do not attain the baseline level of proficiency in reading. This proportion has remained stable since 2009.
- On average across OECD countries, the gender gap in reading in favour of girls narrowed by 12 points between 2009 and 2015: boys’ performance improved, particularly among the highest-achieving boys, while girls’ performance deteriorated, particularly among the lowest-achieving girls.
- More than one in four students in Beijing-Shanghai-Jiangsu-Guangdong (China), Hong Kong (China), Singapore and Chinese Taipei are top-performing students in mathematics, meaning that they can handle tasks that require the ability to formulate complex situations mathematically, using symbolic representations.
- Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Hong Kong (China) and Macao (China) achieve high levels of performance and equity in education outcomes.
- Socio-economically disadvantaged students across OECD countries are almost three times more likely than advantaged students not to attain the baseline level of proficiency in science. But about 29% of disadvantaged students are considered resilient – meaning that they beat the odds and perform at high levels. And in Macao (China) and Viet Nam, students facing the greatest disadvantage on an international scale outperform the most advantaged students in about 20 other PISA-participating countries and economies.
Try PISA 2015 Science Test Questions… https://www.oecd.org/pisa/test/