PISA2012

Main Focus: Mathematical literacy

  • Shanghai-China has the highest scores in mathematics, with a mean score of 613 points – 119 points, or  the equivalent of nearly three years of schooling, above the OECD average. Singapore, Hong Kong-China, Chinese Taipei, Korea, and Macao-China, round out the top six performers in mathematics. Flanders scores 531 for mathematical literacy in 2012 and thereby obtains between the seventh and eleventh position in the international ranking.
  • Of the 64 countries and economies with trend data between 2003 and 2012, 25 improved in mathematics performance. Although Flanders ranks among the top performers in 2012, there is an significant decrease compared to the 2003 cycle.
  • On average across OECD countries, 13% of students are top performers in mathematics (Level 5 or 6). The partner economy Shanghai- China has the largest proportion of students performing at Level 5 or 6 (55%), followed by Singapore (40%), Chinese Taipei (37%) and Hong Kong-China (34%). In Flanders 25% of students are top performers for mathematics.
  • At the same time, 23% of students in OECD countries, and 32% of students  in all participating countries and economies, did not reach the baseline Level 2 in the PISA mathematics  assessment. In Flanders 15% of students performs below the baseline Level 2.

Reading and science

  • Shanghai-China, Hong Kong-China, Singapore, Japan and Korea are the five highest-performing countries and economies in reading in PISA 2012. Flanders with a score of 518 ranks between the 6th and 15th position internationally.
  • On average across OECD countries, 8% of students are top performers in reading (Level 5 or 6). Shanghai-China has the largest proportion of top performers – 25% – among all participating countries and economies. In Flanders 13.2% of 15 year olds are top performers for reading. Only in Shanghai-China (25.1%), Singapore (21.2%), Japan (18.5%), Hong Kong-China (16.8%), New Zealand (14.0%) and Finland (13.5%), this percentage is higher.
  • In Flanders 13.7% of 15 year olds performs below Level 2 (basic level reading skills). In the OECD country on average this is 18%.
  • Between 2000 and 2012 the gender gap in reading performance – favouring girls – widened in 11 countries.
  • Shanghai-China, Hong Kong-China, Singapore, Japan and Finland are the top five performers in science in PISA 2012. Flanders has an average performance score of 518 points for scientific
    literacy, which puts Flanders  internationally in the eighteenth place. Flanders scores significantly higher than the OECD average (501 score points).
  • Across OECD countries, 8% of students are top performers in science (Level 5 or 6). Shanghai China (27.2%), Singapore (22.7%) and Japan (18.2%) count the highest percentage of top performers for scientific literacy. The Asian countries are closely followed by Finland, where 17.1% of students are top performers. In Flanders 12.2% of students are top performers, significantly higher than the OECD average (8.4%).
  • In Flanders, 15.2% of students doesn’t attain the basic level 2 for science.

Problem solving

  • Students in Singapore and Korea, followed by students in Japan, score higher in problem solving than students in all other participating countries and economies. Flanders scored an average of 525 for problem solving, which puts Flanders between the 8th and 13th place internationally. Countries / regions that perform at the same level are Canada (526), Australia (523), Finland (523), United Kingdom (517) and the German-speaking community (520).
  • In Australia, Brazil, Italy, Japan, Korea, Macao-China, Serbia, England (United Kingdom) and the United States, students perform significantly better in problem solving, on average, than students in other countries who show similar performance in reading, mathematics and science.
  • Across OECD countries, 11.4% of 15-year-old students are top performers in problem solving (Level 5 or 6). In Flanders this is 18.0% of the students.
  • At the same time, 21.4% of students in OECD countries did not reach the baseline Level 2 in the PISA assessment of problem solving. In Flanders this is 16,2% of the students.

Financial literacy

  • Shanghai-China has the highest score in financial literacy, followed by the Flemish Community of Belgium, Estonia, Australia, New Zealand, the Czech Republic and Poland. On average, all of these score above the average for the participating OECD countries. There are wide differences in average performance between the highest- and lowest-performing countries and economies: more than 75 score points (a full PISA proficiency level) among OECD countries and economies, and more than 225 score points across all participants.
  • Only one in ten students across participating OECD countries and economies can tackle the most difficult financial literacy tasks. In Flanders 19,7% of students are top performers.
  • Some 15% of students, on average, score below the baseline level of performance on the PISA financial literacy scale. In Flanders 8,7% of students doesn’t reach the baseline level

Link to the international PISA2012 report




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