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What is the PISA test and what does it measure?

PISA, or the Programme for International Student Assessment is becoming the world’s most influential education study.

The study is run by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and measures the effectiveness of the secondary school systems in the scores of countries’ that participate.

The study is conducted every 3 years and in the latest PISA study, 600,000 students from 79 countries took part in the assessment in 2018, representing 37 OECD countries and 42 partner countries.

For the UK, it was found:

• Scores in science continue a downward trend: 505 on average, down from 505 in 2015. However, the country ranked 14th, one place higher than in 2015, probably because other countries have also achieved lower scores in science;

• In maths, a score of 502 signals a slight improvement from 2015: the UK is ranked 18th, up nine places from the previous Pisa cycle;

• Reading, the focus of Pisa 2018, saw the UK achieve a score of 504. The country ranked 14th, eight places higher than in 2015.

18th December 2019

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