PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study)
The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) is an educational research study on children’s reading literacy achievement conducted in countries around the world.
PIRLS Cycles, Information, Publications and International Data
For each individual five year cycle of PIRLS and publications based on the national results from PIRLS please refer to the 'Related Pages' inset box. For links to international publications, data and information on the Boston College and IEA websites please refer to the 'Where to find out More' inset box.
When: Five-yearly assessment since 2001.
Who: Year 5 students.
What: Reading Literacy.
Where: 35 countries in 2001, 40 (and 5 benchmarking participants), in 2005/06, 49 (with 9 benchmarking participants) in 2010/11; and 50 countries (with 9 benchmarking participants) in 2015/16.
The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) is an educational research study on children's reading literacy achievement conducted in countries around the world. The first study was conducted in 35 countries during 2001. Now administered every five years, the study is designed to measure trends in the achievement of middle primary school students as well as providing countries with a snapshot of achievement at each cycle. The study involves New Zealand's Year 5 students.
As well as assessing students, PIRLS also collects background information from the students, their parents/caregivers, their reading teachers, and from the principals of the schools at which they attend.
The fourth cycle of PIRLS–PIRLS 2015/16—was conducted in New Zealand and other Southern Hemisphere countries in late 2015. Northern Hemisphere countries conducted it in early 2016. Just over 50 countries and education systems around the world participated. The international results are scheduled to be released in December 2017.
PIRLS is conducted under the auspices of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), which is an independent international co-operative of national research institutions and government agencies. The Ministry of Education's Comparative Education Research Unit manages the implementation of international studies, including PIRLS, in New Zealand.
Where to find out more
For queries about the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) please contact:
PIRLS National Research Coordinator
Evidence, Data and Knowledge
Ministry of Education
P O Box 1666
Email: PIRLS Mailbox