PISA 2012 results
The OECD published the PISA 2012 results on 3 December 2013.
Generally the East-Asian countries are dominating the top ranking, such as Korea. The report showed that the countries with the highest performance are at the same time the countries with the highest equity. Finland and Estonia are the only EU countries achieving high performance and socially equitable distribution of learning outcomes.
The EU underachieves in relation to its Education & Training 2020 benchmarks. In mathematics the average share of low achieving students in the EU has essentially remained the same (22.1% compared to 22.3% in 2009). In reading the percentage of low achievers has declined from 23.1% (2006) to 17.8%. In science there is a trend towards improvement. The percentage of low achievers has been dropping from 20.3% in 2006 to 16.6% in 2012.
The results show that the gender differences remain: in math boys perform better than girls, in science it is a mixed picture throughout the EU and in reading girls perform better than boys. In particular the results show that almost all underperformance in reading is found amongst boys.
The confidence measure showed a strong relation with gender differences. In particular it showed that girls have much lower confidence in math, even when performing at the same levels as boys. An important policy message would therefore be to make girls more confident in math.
The result also showed the importance of early childhood education and care (ECEC) as more than one year vastly increases the average math scores.