PISA 2018 Fact Sheet

Long title
Programme for International Student Assessment
Frequency of data collection
Every 3 years
Previous cycles
2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015
  • 2014: framework development
  • 2015: instrument development
  • 2017: field trial
  • 2018: main study data collection
  • 2019 (December): release of initial international reports
  • 2019 (December): release of initial international database
  • 2020 (May): release of financial literacy report and data
  • 2020 (October): release of global competence report and data
  • 2021-2022: release of thematic reports


To assess the extent to which 15-year-old students have acquired the key knowledge and skills essential for full participation in society.

  • Timeframe: near the end of their compulsory education.
  • Assessment domains
    • Focus on the core school subjects of reading, mathematics, and science
    • Inclusion of an innovative domain (in 2018, global competence)
    • Possible inclusion of financial literacy as optional assessment (for some countries).
  • To ascertain not only whether students can reproduce knowledge, but also to examine how well students can extrapolate from what they have learned and whether they can apply that knowledge in unfamiliar settings, both in and out of school.


PISA results offer insights for education policy and practice. They

  • Show educators, policy makers, and the interested public the similarities and differences among education systems – and what that means for students.
  • Reveal what is possible in education by showing what students in the highest-performing and most rapidly improving education systems can do.
  • Help monitor trends in students’ acquisition of knowledge and skills across countries and in demographic subgroups within each country.
Assessment domain(s)

Major domain

  • Reading / Reading literacy / Language

Minor domains

  • Mathematics / Mathematical literacy
  • Science / Scientific literacy
  • Global Competence


  • Financial literacy
Study framework (summary)

Reading framework

  • Processes
  • Text formats
  • Situations


Mathematics framework

  • Processes
  • Content
  • Contexts


Science framework

  • Contexts
  • Knowledge
  • Competencies


Global competence framework

  • Knowledge
  • Cognitive process


Financial literacy framework

  • Content
  • Process
  • Context


Context questionnaire framework

  • Student background constructs
  • Schooling constructs (system, school, and classroom levels)
  • Non-cognitive/metacognitive constructs (covering both reading-related and general topics)


Well-being framework

  • Quality of life indicators (objective, subjective)
  • Quality of life dimensions (life as a whole, self, school environment, out-of-school environment)


Participating entities


79 participating countries and economies, including 37 OECD countries.



OECD: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States

Partners: Albania, Argentina, Baku (Azerbaijan), Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Beijing-Shanghai-Jiangsu-Zhejiang (China), Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Georgia, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Macao (China), Malaysia, Malta, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Republic of North Macedonia, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Viet Nam     

Target population and sample (summary)

Target population

15-year-old students enrolled in an educational institution at Grade 7 or higher in their respective countries and economies



Approximately 600,000 students

Data collection techniques and instruments (summary)

Student achievement tests

  • Paper-based: 10 countries/economies
  • Computer-based: 69 countries/economies
  • Domains
    • Reading, mathematics, and science (all countries and economies participated)
    • Global competence (27 countries and economies testing on computers participated)
    • Financial literacy (21 countries and economies testing on computers participated)


Background questionnaires

  • Student questionnaire
  • School questionnaire (for school principals)
  • Parent questionnaire (optional)
  • Teacher questionnaire (optional)
  • Information and communication technology (ICT) familiarity questionnaire (for students, optional)
  • Educational career questionnaire (for students, optional)
  • Well-being questionnaire (for students, optional)
Study director(s)
Study website(s)


2 rue André Pascal

75775 Paris Cedex 16

E-mail: edu.pisa@oecd.org