The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international assessment measuring student performance in reading, mathematical and scientific literacy.
Worldwide PISA 2018 results were released by the OECD on 3 December 2019, and ACER published a report on Australian student achievement simultaneously. A second report looking at Australian student and school characteristics was released by ACER on 18 September 2020.
Conducted on a three-year cycle since 2000, and focusing on students as they near the end of compulsory schooling, PISA results helps participating governments to regularly monitor educational outcomes against a common framework.
Australian and global comparisons
By taking part in the OECD's PISA, Australia has the chance to compare student performance on a global scale, independently of school curriculum, providing insights to help continually improve our own education system – both in comparison to other countries, and in relation to previous results – ensuring we strive for ongoing improvements in equity and learning outcomes for all future Australian students.
PISA assesses essential skills of Australian students
PISA assesses the extent to which 15-year-old students have acquired some of the knowledge and skills that are essential for full participation in society, and how well they are prepared for lifelong learning in the areas of reading, mathematical and scientific literacy.
It seeks to answer questions such as ‘Are our schools adequately preparing young people for the challenges of adult life?’, ‘Are some kinds of teaching and schools more effective than others?’ and ‘Can schools contribute to improving the futures of students from immigrant or disadvantaged backgrounds?
The assessment period for PISA 2018 in Australian schools was end-July to early September 2018.