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Saudi Arabia
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Data profiles:



Saudi Arabia
Student performance (PISA 2022)
  • In mathematics, the main topic of PISA 2022, 15-year-olds in score 389 points compared to an average of 472 points in OECD countries.
  • On average, 15-year-olds score 383 points in reading compared to an average of 476 points in OECD countries.
  • In Saudi Arabia, the average performance in science of 15-year-olds is 390 points, compared to an average of 485 points in OECD countries.
  • Average 2022 results were up compared to 2018 in mathematics; down compared to 2018 in reading; and about the same as in 2018 in science.
  • Over the most recent period (2018 to 2022), the gap between the highest-scoring students (10% with the highest scores) and the weakest students (10% with the lowest scores) narrowed in mathematics, reading and science. In mathematics, low-achievers became stronger, while performance did not change significantly amongst high-achievers.
  • In Saudi Arabia, 30% of students attained at least Level 2 proficiency in mathematics, significantly less than on average across OECD countries (OECD average: 69%). At a minimum, these students can interpret and recognize, without direct instructions, how a simple situation can be represented mathematically.
  • Almost no students in Saudi Arabia were top performers in mathematics, meaning that they attained Level 5 or 6 in the PISA mathematics test (OECD average: 9%). At these levels, students can model complex situations mathematically, and can select, compare and evaluate appropriate problem-solving strategies for dealing with them.
  • Boys and girls performed at similar levels on average in mathematics but girls outperformed boys in reading by 33 score points in Saudi Arabia. Globally, in mathematics, boys outperformed girls in 40 countries and economies, girls outperformed boys in another 17 countries or economies, and no significant difference was found in the remaining 24. In reading, girls, on average, scored above boys in all but two countries and economies that participated in PISA 2022 (79 out of 81).
  • During remote learning, 31% of students in Saudi Arabia had problems at least once a week with understanding school assignments and 29% of students with finding someone who could help them with schoolwork (OECD averages: 34% and 24%). In education systems where performance remained high and students' sense of belonging improved, fewer students encountered problems during remote learning.
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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 mathematics

    The change in maths performance between 2015 and 2018 shows one of the strongest increases among PISA-participating countries and economies. (16 PISA Score, rank 1/48 , 2022) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    The difference in grade repetition between advantaged students and disadvantaged students is one of the smallest among 15-year-old students. (1.3 %, rank 2/76 , 2022) Download Indicator

    School climate

    The disciplinary climate in language-of-instruction lessons is one of the best compared to other countries and economies. (0.39 PISA Index, rank 4/80 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The gender difference in students who reported that in the two weeks prior to the PISA test they had skipped at least one class or day of school (boys-girls) is particularly small in Saudi Arabia compared to the other OECD and partner countries/economies. (-8.1 % points, rank 46/47 , 2022) Download Indicator

    Classroom environment

    Saudi Arabia has one of the largest share of students in schools that group students by abillity for all subjects. (45.2 %, rank 3/80 , 2022) Download Indicator

    Performance and socio-economic status

    In Saudi Arabia, the variation between schools of the mathematics performance is among the smallest, when compared to average total variation across OECD countries. (7.2 %, rank 79/80 , 2022) Download Indicator

    Saudi Arabia has one of the largest differences in mathematics score associated with repeating a grade among OECD and partner countries/economies, before accounting for students' and schools' socio-economic profile. (-27 PISA Score points, rank 1/76 , 2022) Download Indicator

    Saudi Arabia has one of the largest differences in mathematics score associated with repeating a grade among OECD and partner countries/economies, after accounting for students' and schools' socio-economic profile. (-27 PISA Score points, rank 5/75 , 2022) Download Indicator

    Resources for education

    In Saudi Arabia, digital device policies are enforced at the school to a greater extent compared to the other OECD and partner countries/economies. (0.68 PISA Index, rank 1/45 , 2022) Download Indicator

    Governance

    Schools in Saudi Arabiaare less autonomous than in other countries and economies participating in PISA, as measured by the percentage of tasks for which they have considerable responsibility. (-2.18 PISA Index, rank 65/66 , 2022) Download Indicator

    Between 2018 and 2022, Saudi Arabia recorded a particularly small change in the share of 15-year-old students attending government or public schools, compared to the other OECD and partner countries/economies. (-9.4 %, rank 15/15 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The difference in mathematics performance associated with a one-unit increase in the index of school selectivity is relatively small in Saudi Arabia, after accounting for students' and schools' socio-economic profile. (6 PISA Score points, rank 46/49 , 2022) Download Indicator

    COVID-19 effects on education

    In Saudi Arabia, the schools were relatively well prepared for remote instruction before the pandemic, compared to other OECD and partner countries/economies. (0.71 PISA Index, rank 3/77 , 2022) Download Indicator

    In Saudi Arabia, the schools were relatively well prepared for remote instruction after the pandemic, compared to other OECD and partner countries/economies. (0.55 PISA Index, rank 1/48 , 2022) Download Indicator

    The difference between boys and girls in the confidence they have on their capacity to drive self-directed learning is one of the smallest among countries participating in PISA (-0.32 PISA Index, rank 30/30 , 2022) Download Indicator


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    General findings
    
    
    • Singapore scored significantly higher than all other countries/economies in mathematics (575 points) and, along with Hong Kong (China), Japan, Korea, Macao (China), and Chinese Taipei, outperformed all other countries and economies in mathematics. Another 17 countries also performed above the OECD average (472 points), ranging from Estonia (510 points) to New Zealand (479 points).
    • Boys outperformed girls in mathematics by nine score points and girls outperformed boys in reading by 24 score points on average across OECD countries. In science, the performance difference between boys and girls is not significant.
    • An average of 69% of students are at least basically proficient in mathematics in OECD countries. This means they are beginning to demonstrate the ability and initiative to use mathematics in simple real-life situations.
    • In 16 out of 81 countries/economies participating in PISA 2022, more than 10% of students attained Level 5 or 6 proficiency, meaning they are high-performing: they understand that a problem is quantitative in nature and can formulate complex mathematical models to solve it. By contrast, less than 5% of students are high-performing in 42 countries/economies.
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    • Singapore scored significantly higher than all other countries/economies in reading (543 points) and science (561 points). Behind Singapore, Ireland performed as well as Estonia, Japan, Korea and Chinese Taipei while another 14 education systems performed above the OECD average in reading (476 points), ranging from Macao (China) (510 points) to Italy (482 points).
    • About three out of four students have achieved basic proficiency in reading in OECD countries.
    • In reading, an OECD average of 7% of students attained the highest proficiency levels of 5 or 6. In 13 countries/economies, more than 10% of students are top performers in reading.
    • No change in the OECD average over consecutive PISA assessments up to 2018 has ever exceeded five points in reading: in PISA 2022, however, the OECD average dropped by about 10 score points in reading compared to PISA 2018.. The unprecedented drops reading point to the shock effect of COVID-19 on most countries.
    • Only four countries and economies improved their performance between PISA 2018 and 2022 in all three subjects: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, the Dominican Republic and Chinese Taipei.
    • Trend analysis of PISA results reveals a decades-long decline that began well before the pandemic. In reading, performances peaked in 2012 and 2009, respectively, before dipping while performance began a downward descent in mathematics before 2018 in Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Slovak Republic and Switzerland.
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    • Mean performance in science remained stable.
    • In science, the highest-performing education systems are Singapore, Japan, Macao (China), Chinese Taipei, Korea, Estonia, Hong Kong (China) and Canada. Finland performed as well as Canada in science. In addition to these nine countries and economies, another 15 education systems also performed above the OECD average in science (485 points), ranging from Australia (507 points) to Belgium (491 points).
    • About three out of four students have achieved basic proficiency science in OECD countries.
    • In science, an OECD average of 7% of students attained the highest proficiency levels of 5 or 6. In 14 countries/economies, more than 10% of students are top performers in science.
    • Only four countries and economies improved their performance between PISA 2018 and 2022 in all three subjects: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, the Dominican Republic and Chinese Taipei.
    • Trend analysis of PISA results reveals a decades-long decline that began well before the pandemic. In science, performances peaked in 2012 and 2009, respectively, before dipping. while performance began a downward descent in mathematics before 2018 in Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Slovak Republic and Switzerland.
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    • Socio-economically advantaged students scored 93 points more in mathematics than disadvantaged students on average across OECD countries. The performance gap attributed to students' socio-economic status is greater than 93 score points in 22 countries or economies and 50 points or fewer in 13 countries or economies.
    • Boys outperformed girls in mathematics by nine score points and girls outperformed boys in reading by 24 score points on average across OECD countries. In science, the performance difference between boys and girls is not significant.
    • Non-immigrant students scored 29 points more than immigrant students in mathematics on average across OECD countries but non-immigrant students scored only five points more than immigrant students once socio-economic status and language spoken at home had been accounted for.
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    • Between 2018 and 2022 trends in students' sense of belonging at school were mixed, with equal proportions of countries/economies showing stable, improving or deteriorating trends. Of the 47 education systems with improving or stable trends, only 20 maintained or attained a level of students' sense of belonging at school that was at or above the OECD average. 
    • Around 10% of students reported feeling unsafe on their way to or from school, or in places outside of the classroom, on average across OECD countries. Some 20% of students reported that they are bullied at least a few times a month.
    • Overall, students felt more confident about using digital technology for learning remotely during future school closures than they felt about taking responsibility for their own learning. For instance, on average across OECD countries, about three out of four students reported that they feel confident or very confident about using a learning-management system, a school learning platform or a video communication program, as well as about finding learning resources online on their own.
    • Students' experience with learning at home was more positive in systems that were better prepared for remote learning. However, when learning remotely, 40% of all students reported feeling lonely and 50% of all students reported feeling anxious about schoolwork and that they fell behind in their studies; and three in ten students reported that teachers were not available when needed, on average across OECD countries. 
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    Key
    Diagram of funding flows - Saudi Arabia

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    Key
    Country Reviews for Saudi Arabia

    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/

    Reference years displayed in the Education GPS correspond to the most common year of reference among countries for which data is available on each variable. Data for the latest available year is preferred and some countries may have provided data refering to a more recent or late year. To know more about possible exceptions on data please click on the "Download Indicator" link on each variable. When a year of reference corresponds to a school year encompassing two years, the reference reads as follows: 2018 for school year 2017/2018.

    *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 averages. 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 2021 for more details about the data collections.

    B-S-J-Z (China) refers to the four PISA-participating provinces/municipalities of the People's Republic of China: Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

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