PISA 2012: What is PISA Publications
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international study that assesses and compares how well countries are preparing their 15-year-old students to meet real-life opportunities and challenges.
This study is an initiative of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD].
Author(s): Research Division, Ministry of Education
Date Published: December 2013
Who takes part?
- Just over half a million students from 65 countries took part in PISA 2012.
- In New Zealand, over 5,000 students (4,291 for core PISA subjects, 958 for financial literacy) from 177 schools took part in the study, in July 2012.
- Schools and students within each school were randomly selected to take part. An international consortium commissioned by the OECD to implement PISA was responsible for sampling schools and students in all PISA countries.
- This cohort of 15 year olds began compulsory schooling in 2002.
What does PISA 2012 assess?
- PISA assesses three key areas of knowledge and skills – reading, mathematical and scientific literacy.
- The term literacy captures the “capacity of students to apply knowledge and skills in key subject areas and to analyse, reason and communicate effectively as they pose, solve and interpret problems in a variety of situations”.
- In 2012 mathematical literacy was the major focus and reading and scientific literacy minor focuses.
- New Zealand administered assessments in all areas except computer-based problem solving, mathematics and the electronic reading assessment.
- Students and principals were asked to complete a background questionnaire that provides further information to help better understand the data.
How often is PISA administered?
- PISA has been administered every three years since 2000.
- While reading, mathematical and scientific literacy are assessed on each occasion, reading was the focus in 2000, mathematics in 2003 and science in 2006. The cycle began again in 2009 with reading as the main focus.
What can PISA tell us?
- PISA looks at the different factors in the system that contribute to student achievement over time including aspects of family background, the school environment, what happens in the classroom, and students’ own attitudes, experiences and perceptions.
- PISA assesses students who have completed around 10 years of compulsory schooling. It is a snapshot of student achievement and does not measure individual student progress over time.
- However, it monitors overall student performance so that we can observe whether achievement is improving, remaining stable or declining over time. This allows us to monitor progress towards education goals such as raising achievement and reducing inequity.
- PISA also allows us to examine New Zealand’s performance relative to the rest of the world and learn from the experiences of other countries.
Where to find out more
If you have any questions about PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) please email: PISA Mailbox