Wednesday, December 04, 2013

PISA 2012 Results Are Out

The OCED have now released the 2012 PISA results (a test given every three years to 15-year-olds to test their abilities in reading, math and science). You can find the summary report here.

In the past I used to note where Qatar ranked in terms of the number of countries. Unfortunately it's apparent that that was an unfair thing to do -- a number of countries that in 2009 were ranked in the bottom declined to participate in PISA 2012 so Qatar appears near the bottom again since many countries that fared worse aren’t on the list now.

This is Qatar’s 3rd PISA test so let’s see the trends. I have included the OCED average for each test for comparison and as an indication of whether a particular test was more difficult compared to the others.


OECD average
2006 492
2009 493
2012 496

2006 312
2009 372
2012 388


OECD average
2006 499
2009 496
2012 494

2006 318
2009 368
2012 376


OECD average
2006 500
2009 501
2012 501

2006 349
2009 379
2012 384

So Qatar did improve in all three categories again. The increase in scores was nowhere near as dramatic as between 2006 and 2009 but there were still improvements. In fact Qatar has had the greatest level of improvement over the nine years than any other country. There's still a long way to go though, the scores indicate that kids in Qatar probably lag a good year to a year and a half behind their OECD peers.

In other PISA news the city of Shanghai once again dominated all three categories, East Asian countries consistently ranked amongst the top, and Western educational darling Finland posted a decrease in scores. Even Vietnam, being part of the PISA project for the first time, showed impressive scores given it's not a particularly wealthy country. Canada showed a slight decrease but remained well above the OCED average in all categories.

Start doing a Google News search for “PISA”. You'll see all sorts of articles in the Western press about the test, how their country scored, what's wrong with their educational systems etc.

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