PISA 2012: New Zealand Summary Report

Publication Details

This summary report provides an overview of New Zealand results for mathematics, reading and science in an international context. In addition this report looks at the overall trends in New Zealand achievement for each of these subjects as well as for priority learners (Māori, Pasifika and low socio-economic students).

Author(s): Steve May, Saila Cowles and Michelle Lamy, Research Division, Ministry of Education.

Date Published: December 2013

Key Results

  • New Zealand’s average scores in mathematics, reading and science have declined since 2009.
  • New Zealand’s performance in these subjects has also declined relative to other countries.
  • However, New Zealand’s average achievement in mathematics, science and reading remains above the OECD average.
  • Compared to earlier cycles of PISA there are larger proportions of New Zealand students with low performance in mathematics and science (below PISA proficiency Level 2). The OECD considers proficiency Level 2 as the baseline level at which students begin to demonstrate the competencies that will enable them to participate actively in life situations.
  • While the proportion of top performers in reading (PISA proficiency Level 5 or higher) has declined, the proportion of students at the highest level (Level 6) has not declined by much. New Zealand still has one of the largest proportions at this level among participating countries.

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