What is PISA?

Written By: Cudy

24th April 2023

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The PISA test covers three main areas of learning: reading, mathematics and science. It also measures generic skills such as problem-solving and reasoning.

Why does the Government care about PISA?

The PISA test has become increasingly important in education policy. Pisa utilized by the OECD to measure the educational performance of nations. Also, to provide data for education policy debate.

During the 2015/2016 cycle, Australia scored above average on all three core subjects. We were ranked 24th in reading; 22nd in mathematics and 16th in science.

How do you perform well on PISA?

The OECD suggests that factors such as a high level of parental education, higher teacher salaries, better-stocked libraries and computers are positively correlated with better results across each of these three areas.

In addition to this, they suggest that a strong emphasis on high-quality teachers and teaching is important.

Although individual schools do not participate in the PISA test, there are many factors that can influence a school’s performance in such tests.

Factors affecting results for schools

The OECD suggests that there are three main factors. That affect how well any school performs: resources, human capital and leadership.

Resources include things such as funding, amounts of time spent on testing and expectations from the wider community.

Human capital referred as “teacher quality”. Similarly, it includes things like teacher qualifications and experience. Along with the extent to which teachers received support in their work.

Leadership is how much power and influence a school principal has over the organization, and includes things such as uniformity throughout a school.

The OECD also suggests that there is a significant link between the socioeconomic background of a student’s family and their performance on the PISA test.

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