What is PISA?

PISA is the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment. Every three years it tests 15-year-old students from all over the world in reading, mathematics and science. The tests are designed to gauge how well the students master key subjects in order to be prepared for real-life situations in the adult world. Why choose 15-year-olds? Because in most countries, at the age of 15, students can decide whether or not they want to continue their education. They therefore need to be equipped for adult life. PISA publishes the results of the test a year after the students are tested to help governments shape their education policy. PISA cycles are referred to by the year in which the students were tested. Therefore PISA 2000 means the students were tested in the year 2000, PISA 2003, in the year 2003 and so forth. More information.

What's New

Why don’t more girls choose to pursue a science career? (PISA in Focus N°93) Read the blog

When new PISA data are published, many researchers around the world analyse them with the aim of shedding light on all sorts of questions. One question in search of an answer: why are women under-represented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions? Using data from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), Gijsbert Stoet and David Geary examined the nature of the gender gap in STEM fields. The authors analysed data from 67 countries and economies participating in the 2015 cycle of PISA; these data were supplemented by country-level indicators on gender equality (the Global Gender Equality Index) and the proportion of women graduating in a STEM field. Their analysis yielded an interesting result.

Science teaching practices in PISA 2015

These materials explore the relationship between various science teaching strategies and students’ science-related performance. The focus is on enquiry-based science teaching, teacher-directed instruction, adaptive teaching and teacher feedback. 

Equity in Education, Breaking Down Barriers to Social Mobility 

Given economic inequality is on the increase, improving equity in education becomes more urgent. While some countries have been successful at this, every country can do more to improve their education systems where socio-economic status makes less of a difference to students’ learning and well-being. 

Upcoming - Results from PISA 2018



Over half a million 15-year-olds from 80 countries and economies took the PISA test in 2018. They were tested in reading, mathematics and science with a focus on reading. In addition, students in some countries took tests on financial literacy and on global competence. Results of this PISA round (PISA 2018) will be released on 3 December 2019.


In the meantime you can consult information on the theory underpinning the main assessment & the assessment of global competence (the innovative domain).


You can also discover some questions that students took for the Field Trial



PISA 2015 Results

Excellence and Equity in Education (Volume I)
English | French | German

Policies and Practices for Successful Schools (Volume II)
English | French

Students' Well-Being (Volume III)
English | French

Students' Financial Literacy (Volume IV)

Collaborative Problem Solving (Volume V)

PISA 2015 Results in Focus
Volumes I-V:  English
Volumes I-II:  French | Spanish

View the full set of recordings and presentations of PISA 2015 launch events

PISA 2021 and beyond

PISA 2021 

Preparations for the assessment of 15-year-old students in 2021 are well underway.  The 36 OECD members are participating and it is expected that over 50 non-members will implement the assessment too. As in previous cycles, students will be tested in reading, mathematics and science. This time the focus will be on mathematics.  In addition, students will be tested in an innovative subject - creative thinking. 

PISA 2024

Planning for the PISA 2024 assessment has begun. A call for tenders for the contractors responsible for implementing the survey will be launched in June 2019.

For the assessment, of the three core subjects: reading, mathematics and science, the focus will be on science. The ability of students to learn in a digital world will also be tested. In addition an optional assessment of competencies in foreign languages will be carried out.