PISA 2006 - advance details
The PISA survey is the most comprehensive and rigorous international yardstick of secondary-school students' attainments. PISA 2006 was held in 57 countries that together account for nearly 90% of world GDP. It tested students on how much they knew about science and their ability to use scientific knowledge and understanding to identify and address questions and resolve problems in daily life. It also examined student performance in reading and mathematics, and collected data on the student, family and institutional factors that can help explain differences in performance.
Full details on the PISA 2006 results were released on 4 December 2007, 10am, Paris time. To view them click here.
Advance details of individual countries' performance in the PISA 2006 survey were released on 29 November 2007, to view them click on the following link:
The table summarises the performance of 15-year-olds in science. It shows three main pieces of information:
The average score of the country on the science assessment. Across the 30 OECD countries the scores are statistically standardised to have an average of 500 points. The scores are also standardised so that approximately two-thirds of the students score between 400 and 600 - that is the standard deviation is 100. The colour coding in the list of the countries in the first column gives an indication of whether the country's score is statistically significantly above, below or not different from the OECD average.
The rank of the country compared to other OECD countries. When a sample of students represents all students in a country, it is not always possible to state with 100% accuracy what the exact rank of the country is compared with other countries. For this reason, OECD calculates, with 95% confidence, a range of ranks that the country falls within. For example, in the list above, OECD is 95% confident that New Zealand ranks between 2nd and 5th of all the OECD countries.
The rank of the country compared to all the countries which participated in PISA 2006. The same 95% level of confidence is applied when comparing a country's position to all the other countries. For example, the list above shows, with 95% confidence, that Croatia ranks between 23rd and 30th position of all the countries which participated in PISA 2006.
In addition to ranking the countries according to students' science performance, the OECD carries out extensive analysis to explore the reasons for differences between countries, between schools and between students. This analysis will be released by the OECD at 10.00 a.m. Paris time on Tuesday 4 December 2007.
For further background reading, see:
Assessing Scientific, Reading and Mathematical Literacy: A Framework for PISA 2006