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If there’s one word that encapsulates the desires and aspirations of education stakeholders around the world, it is improvement. When the first PISA results revealed the disappointing performance of German students, Germany strove to improve, and shake up, its education system. More recently, after declining results in reading, mathematics and science, Wales introduced large-scale school reform measures with the aim of becoming one of the top 20 countries in PISA reading performance by 2015. While there is no one sure path to improvement in education, this month’s PISA in Focus relays a positive message: any country can improve its performance and equity in education – and relatively quickly.


It’s sometimes hard to tell who has more trouble with homework: students or their parents. PISA results show that homework, itself, may inadvertently perpetuate a problem that goes far beyond spoiling a student’s evening or a parent’s self-esteem. As this month’s PISA in Focus explains, homework may widen the performance gap between students from different socio-economic backgrounds.

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Also availalbe: French


The PISA 2012 Technical Report describes the methodology underlying the PISA 2012 survey, which tested 15-year-olds’ competencies in mathematics, reading and science and, in some countries, problem solving and financial literacy. It examines the design and implementation of the project at a level of detail that allows researchers to understand and replicate the resulting data and analyses.


Can PISA results predict predict the quality of a labour force one decade later? To find out we compared some of the results from the PISA 2000 and PISA 2003 tests with results from the OECD's 2012 Survey of Adult Skills. As we explain in November's edition of PISA in Focus we found that those countries where 15-year-old students achieved high scores in PISA were also the countries whose populations of young adults scored at high levels of proficiency in literacy and numeracy a decade after they had participated in PISA.

Also available: French

Find out how the 65 participating economies fared in the latest PISA survey in 2012 which focused on mathematics. Discover which education systems have improved over time, how equitable they are and how boys compare to girls, both in their performance and in their attitudes towards learning maths.

More than 510,000 students took part in this latest PISA survey, representing about 28 million 15-year-olds globally.

These PISA results reveal what is possible in education by showing what students in the highest-performing and most rapidly improving education systems can do.











Does homework perpetuateinequities in education?