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PISA data confirm a troubling relationship between the time teenagers spend on line outside of school and their sense of belonging at school. Results clearly indicate that extreme Internet users (those who spend six or more hours per day on line during weekdays) are twice as likely as moderate Internet users (those who spend between one and two hours per day on line) to report that they feel lonely at school (14% compared to 7%). Extreme Internet users are also particularly at risk of being less engaged with school and of scoring below their peers in the PISA assessment of mathematics.

While these findings cannot prove cause and effect, they suggest that avoiding excess, when it comes to using technology, is important not just for students’ leisure time, but also for how effective school systems are in promoting students’ learning. 

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Also available in French


Across OECD countries, 5% of students expect to work as teachers: 3% of boys and 6% of girls. The academic profile of students who expect to work as teachers varies, but in many OECD countries, students who expect to work as teachers have poorer mathematics and reading skills than other ambitious students who expect to work as professionals but not as teachers.

Underlying data

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Forty-four middle-income countries and economies have participated in PISA. This report provides answers to six important questions relating to these countries: What is the extent of developing country participation in PISA and other international learning assessments? Why do these countries join PISA? What are the financial, technical, and cultural challenges for their participation in PISA? What impact has participation had on their national assessment capacity? How have PISA results influenced their national policy discussions? And what does PISA data tell us about education in these countries and the policies and practices that influence student performance?


  • Can schools help to integrate immigrants?

It is difficult for us here in Paris to think about much else beside the innocents who lost their lives last week during the senseless, brutal attack that shook our city. Our thoughts are with their families and loved ones; our spirit remains firmly fixed on the values we cherish: liberté, égalité, fraternité. In the aftermath of these horrific events, fraternité becomes more than an ideal; it is the necessary glue that binds our societies together. It is in this context that we invite you to consider what PISA results show about the crucial role schools play in building our communities, particularly for immigrant students. A full report on this issue will be published in the near future.

Also available in French


How many times have you heard as students say that they are just not good at mathematics and that they never will be? Self-confidence is essential if students are to fulfil their potential. Yet too many students, particularly disadvantaged students, do not have confidence in their ability to tackle mathematics tasks. This month’s PISA in Focus reveals that mathematics self-efficacy is strongly associated with mathematics performance, and that disadvantaged students are less likely to feel confident about their ability to tackle specific mathematics tasks than advantaged students, even when comparing students who perform similarly in mathematics. 

Also available in French