PISA-based Test for Schools - Assessment



How is the assessment based on PISA?

  • It complements the main PISA study by making results more accessible to a wider audience and empowering local educators to participate in, and contribute to, policy debates in their countries.

  • The relevance of the tool to local educators is its link to PISA's international results, published every 3 years.

The PISA-based Test for Schools is based on the main PISA assessment frameworks, but the assessments are different. One of the main differences is that the PISA-Based Test for Schools is designed to provide results for schools and not to provide aggregate national or system-level results.

The PISA-based Test for Schools is not the same as the national PISA cycles and participation in one assessment should not be confused with the other.

The assessment tool

Schools that implement the assessment work with their country's service provider to make sure that quality standards and procedures are followed in preparation for the test administration and on the day of testing.

Key facts

  • There are 141 items in the assessment

  • The items are based on PISA frameworks and mirror as closely as possible the distribution of PISA items, regarding response types and content

  • Minimum target number of students tested at each school is 35, but varies depending on school characteristics

  • Students respond to 2 hours of test questions in reading, mathematics and science, and a 30-minute questionnaire on information about themselves, their homes, and their school and learning experiences. The testing experience for a student lasts 3 to 3.5 hours (including instructions and break periods)

Toolkit for school leaders

A toolkit, published by EdLeader21 with guidance of the OECD, walks districts and school leaders through the steps leading up to administering the assessment and answers questions such as: how can district and school leaders launch an effective programme of using the PISA-based Test for Schools; what are the most effective tactics for administering the test and communicating to parents; how to best glean meaningful insights from the comprehensive school report; and what are the most effective strategies to best exploit test results in order to improve student learning?

Download the toolkit

School Leaders speaking about their participation in the pilot and the relevance of the assessment tool


Learning from the PISA-based Test for Schools: Improving student reading performances


Technical Report

The Technical Report for the PISA-based Test for Schools describes the methodologies and procedures used to implement the paper-based version of the assessment. The purpose of the report is two-fold: first the report serves as documentation of how the assessment was implemented during the first years of availability (2012-2015), and second it serves as a reference manual for the continued implementation of the assessment across the world.

Download Technical Report

Technical Note - New Equating Method - OECD Test for Schools

Guidelines for the appropriate use of the test

The OECD Secretariat has developed guidelines that have been reviewed by the PISA Governing Board for public availability of the assessment in countries that adopt it addressing aspects such as the proper uses of the assessment, of the “PISA” brand and the appropriate public communication of schools’ results from the assessment.

Download guidelines

Sample US school report

Contact the team


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