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Are students more engaged when schools offer extracurricular activities?

PISA in Focus is a series of concise monthly education policy-oriented notes designed to describe a PISA topic.

 The series is grouped according to topic. Click on the title of the theme to find all PISA in Focus editions related to that topic.



February 2015 edition


PISA finds that students’ anxiety towards mathematics is not just about the subject, itself. Students are more anxious towards mathematics when their schoolmates get better marks than they do, on average. In Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands and Slovenia, students who attend schools where the average student performs better than they do in mathematics tend to be considerably more anxious towards the subject than students who earn similar marks in mathematics, but attend schools where the average student performs as well as they do or worse.

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Student performance


Family background and education

Students' attitudes towards school and learning


Classroom environment

Education policies and student performance


All PISA in Focus editions