Best Practice

Analysing the UK’s PISA results

The latest PISA findings shine a light on UK performance in maths, science and reading. However, they should be read in context and with caution. Dorothy Lepkowska takes a look

The usefulness and veracity of the PISA tests divide opinion in the education world. But, in the UK at least, the international comparisons can offer a useful insight into how our 15-year-olds are performing against each other, and the world.

The main focus of the recently published 2015 PISA tests was science, but students also had to complete questions on maths, reading and problem-solving. The exercise did not test knowledge, but rather students’ reasoning and interpretation skills and their ability to solve problems.

The PISA tests, administered by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), provide in-depth contextual information about different education systems, schools, teachers, students and how they live, and examine the relationships between these factors and levels of achievement.

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