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Student performance (PISA 2015)
  • In science literacy, the main topic of PISA 2015, 15-year-olds in Qatar score 418 points compared to an average of 493 points in OECD countries. Girls perform better than boys with a statistically significant difference of 23 points (OECD average: 3.5 points higher for boys).
  • On average, 15-year-olds score 402 points in mathematics compared to an average of 490 points in OECD countries. Girls perform better than boys with a statistically significant difference of 12 points (OECD average: 8 points higher for boys).
  • In Qatar, the average performance in reading of 15-year-olds is 402 points, compared to an average of 493 points in OECD countries. Girls perform better than boys with a statistically significant difference of 53 points (OECD average: 27 points higher for girls).
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    The following list displays indicators for which your selected country shows the highest and lowest values among countries. The list can be sorted by level of education or by age group. All rankings are calculated including available data from OECD and partner countries. Find out more about the methodology here.

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    Student performance in science

    The difference between boys and girls in science performance is one of the largest among PISA-participating countries and economies in favour of girls. (-23 PISA Score, rank 42/45 ) Download Indicator

    The change in science performance per three-year period between 2006 or later and 2015 shows one of the strongest increases among PISA-participating countries and economies. (21 PISA Score, rank 3/28 ) Download Indicator

    Student performance in mathematics

    Unlike most other countries and economies, the difference between boys and girls in mathematics performance is small (Tunisia) or in favour of girls. (-12 PISA Score, rank 33/36 ) Download Indicator

    The score difference in mathematics between the 10% of students with the highest scores and the 10% of students with the lowest scores is one of the largest among PISA-participating countries and economies. (258 PISA Score, rank 6/69 ) Download Indicator

    Student performance in reading

    The mean score in reading performance is one of the lowest among PISA-participating countries and economies. (402 PISA Score, rank 60/69 ) Download Indicator

    Boys' performance in reading is one of the lowest among PISA-participating countries and economies. (376 PISA Score, rank 60/69 ) Download Indicator

    The difference between boys and girls in reading performance is one of the largest among PISA-participating countries and economies in favour of girls. (-53 PISA Score, rank 66/69 ) Download Indicator

    The score difference in reading between the 10% of students with the highest scores and the 10% of students with the lowest scores is one of the largest among PISA-participating countries and economies. (291 PISA Score, rank 6/69 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of low performers in reading (below proficiency Level 2) is one of the highest among PISA-participating countries and economies. (51.6 %, rank 10/69 ) Download Indicator

    Educational outcomes

    The percentage of students who had not attended pre-primary education (ISCED 0) is one of the highest among PISA-participating countries and economies. (11.7 %, rank 10/54 ) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    The percentage of students attending government-independent private schools is one of the highest among PISA-participating countries and economies. (36.6 %, rank 3/67 ) Download Indicator

    Student evaluation and assessment

    A large share of 15 year-old students attend schools where achievement data are tracked over time by an administrative authority. (95.1 %, rank 8/69 ) Download Indicator

    A large share of 15 year-old students attend schools where students are grouped by ability into different classes for all subjects. (22.1 %, rank 9/69 ) Download Indicator

    Students' engagement, drive and self-beliefs

    A large share of students reported skipping a whole school day at least once in the two weeks prior to the PISA test. (40.3 %, rank 10/55 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students who report feeling confident about their ability to complete tasks requiring competence in science is one of the highest among PISA-participating countries and economies. (0.36 PISA Index, rank 5/69 ) Download Indicator

    Students' life satisfaction

    The difference between boys and girls in life satisfaction is among the smallest compared to other countries and economies participating in PISA. (0.21 Life satisfaction index (0-10), rank 37/40 ) Download Indicator

    The difference in life satisfaction between high-achieving and low achieving students in science is one of the smallest among PISA-participating countries and economies. (-0.24 Life satisfaction index (0-10), rank 14/20 ) Download Indicator

    Students' achievement motivation

    The percentage of students who want to be one of the best students in their class is one of the highest among countries and economies participating in PISA. (89.4 %, rank 5/55 ) Download Indicator

    Sense of belonging at school

    The difference in the percentage of students who feel like they belong at school between non-immigrants and first-generation immigrants is one of the smallest among PISA-participating countries and economies. (-7.5 % points, rank 16/18 ) Download Indicator

    Bullying

    In 2015, the index of exposure to bullying was one of the highest among PISA-participating countries and economies. (0.36 PISA Index, rank 8/53 ) Download Indicator

    Compared to other PISA-participating countries and economies, the percentage of students who reported being bullied (getting hit or pushed around by other students) at least a few times a month is relatively high. (8.8 %, rank 4/53 ) Download Indicator

    The difference in the index of bullying between advantaged schools and disadvantaged schools is one of the smallest among PISA-participating countries and economies. (-0.33 PISA Index, rank 27/30 ) Download Indicator

    Parental support and education expectations

    The difference in life satisfaction between students in the top and bottom quarter of the distribution of the index of wealth is one of the largest among PISA-participating countries and economies. (1.07 Life satisfaction index (0-10), rank 4/44 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students who expect to complete a university degree is one of the highest among PISA-participating countries and economies. (76.5 %, rank 1/54 ) Download Indicator

    The difference in the expectation to complete a university degree between children of white-collar workers and children of blue-collar workers is one of the smallest among PISA-participating countries and economies. (10.1 % points, rank 52/54 ) Download Indicator

    Students' activities outside of school

    The percentage of students who reported that they exercise or practice sports before or after school is one of the highest among PISA-participating countries and economies. (78.6 %, rank 8/55 ) Download Indicator

    After-school activities

    On average, 15 year-old students in Qatar spend many hours studying after school. (25.7 Hours/week, rank 3/55 ) Download Indicator

    Performance and socio-economic status

    The mean PISA index of economic, social and cultural status (ESCS) in Qatar is one of the higest among countries and economies participating in PISA. (0.58 PISA Index, rank 3/69 ) Download Indicator

    The variation in science performance associated with the socio-economic status of students, as measured by the PISA index of economic, social and cultural status (ESCS) increased strongly between 2006 and 2012, compared to other PISA-participating countries and economies. (2.4 %, rank 5/52 ) Download Indicator

    The difference in science performance associated with a one-unit increase in the PISA index of economic, social and cultural status (ESCS) grew considerably between 2006 and 2012 when compared to other PISA-participating countries and economies. (15 PISA Score, rank 1/52 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of resilient students in science (i.e. students in the bottom quarter of the PISA index of economic, social and cultural status [ESCS] who perform among the top quarter of students internationally) is one of the lowest among PISA-participating countries and economies. (5.68 PISA Index, rank 64/69 ) Download Indicator

    Before accounting for students' and schools' PISA index of economic, social and cultural status (ESCS), the difference in science performance between public and private schools is one of the largest in favour of private schools among PISA-participating countries and economies .  (-74 PISA Score, rank 54/58 ) Download Indicator

    After accounting for students' and schools' PISA index of economic, social and cultural status (ESCS), the difference in science performance between public and private schools is one of the largest in favour of private schools among PISA-participating countries and economies . (-58 PISA Score, rank 58/58 ) Download Indicator

    The score difference in reading between students in the top quarter of economic, social and cultural status (ESCS) and those in the bottom quarter of ESCS is one of the smallest among PISA-participating countries and economies. (55 PISA Score, rank 60/68 ) Download Indicator

    The science performance of students in the second lowest international decile of economic, social and cultural status (ESCS) scale is among the lowest, compared to countries and economies participating in PISA. (358 PISA Score, rank 54/62 ) Download Indicator

    The science performance of students in the international median of economic, social and cultural status (ESCS) scale is among the lowest, compared to countries and economies participating in PISA. (372 PISA Score, rank 66/68 ) Download Indicator

    The science performance of students in the ninth international decile of economic, social and cultural status (ESCS) scale is among the lowest, compared to countries and economies participating in PISA. (432 PISA Score, rank 63/68 ) Download Indicator

    The science performance of students in the top international decile of economic, social and cultural status (ESCS) scale is among the lowest, compared to countries and economies participating in PISA. (438 PISA Score, rank 64/68 ) Download Indicator

    In Qatar, a low share of students is in the bottom two deciles of international economic, social and cultural status (ESCS), compared to other countries and economies participating in PISA. (3.1 %, rank 63/69 ) Download Indicator

    In Qatar, a high share of students is in the top two deciles of international economic, social and cultural status (ESCS), compared to other countries and economies participating in PISA. (48.3 %, rank 3/69 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of low performers in science among advantaged students in Qatar is among the highest compared to countries and economies participating in PISA. (43 %, rank 6/68 ) Download Indicator

    Compared to the share advantaged low performers in science, the share of disadvantaged low performers in science is one of the lowest among countries and economies participating in PISA. (2.4 Ratio, rank 62/68 ) Download Indicator

    A large share of disadvantaged students in Qatar expect to pursue a career in science, compared to other countries and economies participating in PISA. (32.1 %, rank 10/69 ) Download Indicator

    Compared to the share advantaged students, the share of disadvantaged students expecting to pursue a career in science is one of the highest among countries and economies participating in PISA. (1.04 Ratio, rank 3/68 ) Download Indicator

    The variation between schools in science performance is weakly associated with students' and schools' socio-economic status, as measured by the PISA index of economic, social and cultural status (ESCS). (34.3 %, rank 62/67 ) Download Indicator

    In Qatar, the variance in science performance is less correlated to student socio-economic status (ESCS), compared to other countries and economies participating in PISA. (4.4 %, rank 66/69 ) Download Indicator

    In 2006, the variance in science performance was less correlated to student socio-economic status (ESCS), compared to other countries and economies participating in PISA. (2 %, rank 51/52 ) Download Indicator

    In 2006, the difference in science performance associated with a one-unit increase in the PISA index of economic, social and cultural status was relatively small. (12 PISA Score, rank 52/52 ) Download Indicator

    Performance and diversity

    The difference in the percentage of low performers in mathematics between students with an immigrant background and those without an immigrant background is one of the lowest among PISA-participating countries and economies. (0.2 %, rank 66/66 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students with an immigrant backgroung is one of the highest among countries and economies participating in PISA. (55.2 %, rank 3/69 ) Download Indicator

    After accounting for socio-economic status, the difference in science performance between non-immigrant and immigrant students is one of the largest among PISA-participating countries and economies, in favour of immigrants or negligible. (-81 PISA Score, rank 62/62 ) Download Indicator

    After accounting for the PISA index of economic, social and cultural status (ESCS), the difference in science performance between non-immigrant students who speak the language of assessment at home and immigrant students who do not is one of the highest among PISA-participating countries and economies in favour of immigrant students who do not speak the language of assessment at home or negligible. (-38 PISA Score, rank 67/67 ) Download Indicator

    Resources for education

    In Qatar, school principals in disadvantaged schools report having a lower shortage of educational material than those in advantaged schools. (-0.12 PISA Index, rank 4/32 ) Download Indicator

    The quality of schools' educational resources is one of the lowest among PISA-participating countries and economies. (-0.65 PISA Index, rank 68/69 ) Download Indicator

    In Qatar, school principals in advantaged schools report having a similar shortage of educational material than those in disadvantaged schools. (-0.12 PISA Index, rank 4/32 ) Download Indicator

    In Qatar, the difference in shortage of educational staff between advantaged schools and disadvantaged schools is one of the smallest among countries and economies participating in PISA, as reported by school principals. (-0.24 PISA Index, rank 4/35 ) Download Indicator

    School principals report having one of the smallest shortage of education staff among countries and economies participating in PISA. (-0.71 PISA Index, rank 64/69 ) Download Indicator

    In schools attended by 15 year-olds, a low share of science teachers hold a university degree and a major in science. (29.8 %, rank 64/68 ) Download Indicator

    Professional development of teachers

    A large share of teachers in Qatar attended a programme of professional development in the three months prior to the PISA test. (74.3 %, rank 8/69 ) Download Indicator


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    General findings
    • Singapore outperforms all other participating countries/economies in science. Japan, Estonia, Finland and Canada, in descending order of mean performance, are the four highest-performing OECD countries.
    • On average across OECD countries, 79% of students perform at or above Level 2 in science, the baseline level of proficiency. At this level, students can draw on their knowledge of basic science content and procedures to identify an appropriate explanation, interpret data, and identify the question being addressed in a simple experiment. All students should be expected to attain Level 2 by the time they leave compulsory education.
    • Some 7.7% of students across OECD countries are top performers in science, meaning that they are proficient at Level 5 or 6. At these levels, students can creatively and autonomously apply their scientific knowledge and skills to a wide variety of situations, including unfamiliar ones. About one in four (24.2%) students in Singapore, and more than one in seven students in Chinese Taipei (15.4%), Japan (15.3%) and Finland (14.3%) perform at this level.
    • Mean performance in science improved significantly between 2006 and 2015 in Colombia, Israel, Macao (China), Portugal, Qatar and Romania. Over this period, Macao (China), Portugal and Qatar reduced the share of low-achieving students performing below Level 2, and simultaneously increased the share of students performing at or above Level 5.
    • In 33 countries and economies, the share of top performers in science is larger among boys than among girls. Finland is the only country in which girls are more likely to be top performers than boys.
    • At the same time, in most countries, boys and girls are equally able to complete the easiest science tasks in the PISA test.
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    • Singapore, Hong Kong (China), Canada and Finland are the highest-performing countries and economies in reading.
    • On average across OECD countries, 80% of students are proficient at Level 2 or higher, considered the level of proficiency at which students begin to demonstrate the reading skills that will enable them to participate effectively and productively in life. In Hong Kong (China), more than 90% of students perform at or above this threshold.
    • Across OECD countries, 8.3% of students are top performers in reading, meaning that they are proficient at Level 5 or 6. At these levels students can find information in texts that are unfamiliar in form or content, demonstrate detailed understanding, and infer which information is relevant to the task. Singapore has the largest proportion of top performers – 18.4% – among all participating countries and economies.
    • Of the 42 countries and economies that have collected comparable data on student performance in at least five PISA assessments, including 2015, only Chile, Germany, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Macao (China), Poland, Portugal, Romania and the Russian Federation have seen an improving trend in average reading performance.
    • Albania, Estonia, Georgia, Ireland, Macao (China), Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Slovenia and Spain were able to simultaneously increase the share of top performers and reduce the share of low achievers in reading between 2009 and 2015.
    • In all countries and economies, girls score on average higher than boys in reading. But in 32 countries and economies, the gender gap in reading narrowed significantly between 2009 and 2015.
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    • Asian countries/economies outperform all other countries in mathematics. Singapore scores highest in mathematics of all participating countries and economies: 564 points – more than 70 points above the OECD average of 490 points. Three countries/economies score below Singapore, but higher than any other country/economy in mathematics: Hong Kong (China), Macao (China) and Chinese Taipei.
    • Japan is the highest-performing OECD country, with a mean mathematics score of 532 points.
    • Around one in ten students in OECD countries is a top performer in mathematics, on average, meaning that they are proficient at Level 5 or 6. At these levels, students can, for instance, handle tasks that require the ability to formulate complex situations mathematically, using symbolic representations. In Singapore, more than one in three students perform at these levels.
    • Across OECD countries, an average of 77% of students attains Level 2 or higher. Students who score below this benchmark can sometimes solve problems involving clear directions and requiring a single source of information but cannot engage in more complex reasoning to solve the kinds of problems that are routinely faced by adults in their daily lives.
    • Boys tend to score higher than girls in mathematics, but in nine countries and economies, girls outperform boys.
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      PISA defines equity in education as providing all students, regardless of gender, family background or socio-economic status, with high-quality opportunities to benefit from education. Defined in this way, equity implies neither that everyone should achieve the same results, nor that every student should be exposed to identical approaches to teaching and learning. Rather, it refers to creating the conditions for minimising any adverse impact of students’ socio-economic status or immigrant background on their performance.
    • Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Hong Kong (China) and Macao (China) achieve high performance and high in education opportunities.
    • Socio-economically disadvantaged students across OECD countries are almost three times more likely than more advantaged students not to attain the baseline level of proficiency in science. On average across OECD countries, advantaged students score 88 points higher in science than disadvantaged.
    • However, about 29% of disadvantaged students are considered resilient – meaning that they beat the odds and perform above expectations and high by international standards. In Macao (China) and Viet Nam, students facing the greatest disadvantage on an international scale outperform the most advantaged students in about 20 other PISA-participating countries and economies.
    • Between 2006 and 2015 no country or economy improved its performance in science and its equity levels simultaneously, but in nine countries where mean achievement remained stable, socio-economic status became a weaker predictor of student performance.
    • On average across OECD countries, 12.5% of students in 2015 have an immigrant background, up from 9.4% in 2006.
    • On average across countries with relatively large immigrant student populations, attending a school with a high concentration of immigrant students is not associated with lower student performance after accounting for the school’s socio-economic intake.
    • The average difference in science performance between immigrant and non-immigrant students with similar socio-economic status and familiarity with the test language narrowed by 6 score points between 2006 and 2015.
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      Children spend a considerable amount of time in the classroom: following lessons, socialising with classmates, and interacting with teachers and other staff members. What happens in school is therefore key to understanding whether students enjoy good physical and mental health, how happy and satisfied they are with different aspects of their life, how connected to others they feel, and the aspirations they have for their future.

    • On average across OECD countries, 15-year-old students are satisfied with the life they are living: they report a level of 7.3 on a scale of life satisfaction that ranges from 0 to 10. But around 12% of students, on average, are not satisfied with their life: they report 4 or less on the scale.
    • Around 64% of girls and 47% of boys reported that they feel very anxious even if they are well prepared for a test. Schoolwork-related anxiety is negatively related to performance at school and to students’ satisfaction with their life.
    • On average across OECD countries, 44% of 15-years-old students expect that they will complete university. In Colombia, Korea, Qatar and the United States, more than three out of four students expect so. On average, disadvantaged students were 40 percentage points (or 2.5 times) less likely to expect to complete a university degree than advantaged students.
    • Some 4% of students across OECD countries (the equivalent of around one student per class) reported that they are hit or pushed around by other students at least a few times per month. Another 8% of students reported that they are hit or pushed a few times per year. Around 11% of students reported that other students make fun of them, and 8% reported that they were the object of nasty rumours at least a few times per month.
    • On average across 18 countries and economies, 82% of parents reported that they eat the main meal with their child around a table, 70% reported that they spend time just talking with their child, and 52% reported that they discuss how well their child is doing at school every day or almost every day. Students whose parents engage in these activities at least once a week score higher in the PISA science test and were more likely to report that they are very satisfied with their life.
    • About 6.6% of students across OECD countries do not engage in any kind of moderate or vigorous physical activity outside of school, and the share of physically inactive students is 1.8 percentage points higher among girls than among boys. Physically active students are less likely than those who do not participate in any kind of physical activity outside of school to skip school, feel like an outsider at school, feel very anxious about schoolwork, or be frequently bullied.
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      Over the past decades, developed and emerging countries and economies have become increasingly concerned about the level of financial literacy of their citizens, particularly among young people. This initially stemmed from concern about the potential impact of shrinking public and private welfare systems, shifting demographics, including the ageing of the population in many countries, and the increased sophistication and expansion of financial services. Many young people face financial decisions and are consumers of financial services, including digital ones, in this evolving context. As a result, financial literacy is now globally recognised as an essential life skill.

    • Across the 10 participating OECD countries and economies, 22% of students score below the baseline level of proficiency in financial literacy (Level 2) . Students performing below Level 2 can, at best, recognise the difference between needs and wants, can make simple decisions on everyday spending, and can recognise the purpose of everyday financial documents, such as an invoice.
    • Some 12% of students across the participating OECD countries and economies score at Level 5 in financial literacy – the highest level of proficiency. Students performing at Level 5 can make the kinds of financial decisions that will be relevant to them only in the future. They can describe the potential outcomes of financial decisions, showing an understanding of the wider financial landscape, such as income tax.
    • Students who do well in financial literacy are likely to perform well in other areas too, and students who have poor financial literacy skills are likely to do poorly in other subjects. On average across the 10 participating OECD countries and economies, around 38% of the financial literacy score reflects factors that are uniquely captured by the financial literacy assessment; the remaining 62% of the score reflects skills that can be measured in the PISA mathematics and/or reading assessments.
    • Only in Italy do boys perform better than girls – by 11 score points – in financial literacy. By contrast, in Australia, Lithuania, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Spain, girls perform better than boys. On average across the 10 participating OECD countries and economies, there are slightly more boys than girls among students performing at or below Level 1 (24% of boys and 21% of girls) and at Level 5 (12% of boys and 11% of girls).
    • Advantaged students score 89 points higher than disadvantaged students, on average across OECD countries and economies, equivalent to more than one PISA proficiency level.
    • Immigrant students score 26 points lower in financial literacy, on average, than native-born students of similar socio-economic status.
    • More than 70% of students hold a bank account in Australia, the Flemish Community of Belgium, the participating Canadian provinces and the Netherlands. In Australia, the Flemish Community of Belgium, the participating Canadian provinces, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United States, students who hold a bank account perform better in financial literacy by over 20 score points than students of similar socio-economic status who do not have a bank account.
    • On average across OECD countries and economies, 64% of students earn money from some formal or informal work activity.
    • Financially literate students are more likely to expect to earn a university degree and work in a high-skilled occupation later on than low performers in financial literacy with similar characteristics and performance in mathematics and reading.
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      PISA analyses in detail how effective schools and school systems are in providing opportunities to learn science. It examines the financial, material, human and time resources available to schools and students in those schools, how students are selected into different schools and education programmes within schools, and how schools are governed. Students’ engagement with and motivation for learning is also explored. The analyses of PISA data describe how all of these factors are associated with student performance in and attitudes towards learning science.
    • On average across OECD countries, 20% of students had skipped a day of school in the two weeks prior to the PISA test. In virtually all education systems, students who had skipped a day of school during that period score lower in science.
    • Schools in the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Macao (China), the Netherlands and the United Kingdom enjoy the greatest autonomy while those in Greece, Jordan, Tunisia and Turkey are granted the least autonomy.
    • Students in private schools score higher in science than students in public schools; but after accounting for the socio-economic profile of students and schools, students in public schools score higher than students in private schools on average across OECD countries and in 22 education systems.
    • Standardised tests are used extensively across PISA-participating countries and economies. In about five out of six school systems, more than one in two students are assessed at least once a year with mandatory standardised tests, and in about three out of four countries, more than one in two students are assessed at least once a year with non-mandatory standardised test.
    • Thirty countries and economies used grade repetition less frequently in 2015 than in 2009; in only five countries did the incidence of grade repetition increase during the period. The use of grade repetition decreased by at least 10 percentage points in Costa Rica, France, Indonesia, Latvia, Macao (China), Malta, Mexico and Tunisia.
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    Note: These values should be interpreted with care since they are influenced by countries' specific contexts and trade-offs. In education, there is often no simple most- or least-efficient model. For instance, the share of private expenditure in education must be read against other measures designed to mitigate inequities, such as loans and grants; longer learning time is an opportunity to convey more and better content to students, but may hinder investments in other important areas. If you want further information on the nature of different variables, please take the time to read the analysis and contextual information, available at the website for each publication.
    All rankings for individual variables are compiled on the basis of OECD and G20 countries for which data are available. The OECD average includes only OECD countries which are listed here: http://www.oecd.org/about/membersandpartners/

    *TALIS averages are based on all countries participating in the TALIS survey, including partner countries and economies. This explains the difference between the OECD average and the TALIS average. Data from the TALIS survey and Education at a Glance (EAG) may differ. See Annex E of the TALIS technical report and Annex 3 of EAG 2017 for more details about the data collections.

    For additional notes, please refer to annexes in the list of links below the introductory country profile text.