PISA - Programme for International Student Assessment 2021

PISA is the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment. It measures 15-year-old students’ ability to use their reading, mathematics and science knowledge and skills to meet real-life challenges.

The survey for PISA is conducted every 3 years and over 90 countries shall participate in the upcoming assessment. It was in 2018 that the Ministry of Human Resource Development decided that India will become a participant in Programme for International Students Assessment for the 2021 programme. 

Why is it in the news?

OECD member countries and Associates have decided to postpone the PISA 2021 assessment to 2022 and the PISA 2024 assessment to 2025 to reflect post-Covid-19 difficulties.

In this article, we shall discuss at length the objectives and aspects of the Programme for International Student Assessment, India’s involvement in the survey and the results from the previous assessment. All IAS Exam and government exam aspirants must refer to the details discussed further below.

PISA – Programme for International Student Assessment:-Download Notes PDF Here

UPSC aspirants can refer to the links given below:

India’s Report on Digital Education Digital Education in India
National Education Policy (NEP 2020) Global Teacher Prize
Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) STARS (Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States) Project

PISA – A Brief Background

  • The first survey under the Programme for International Student Assessment was conducted in 2000
  • The major domain of study rotates between reading, mathematics, and science in each cycle
  • It assesses students who have attained 15 years of age and emphasizes on functional skills they have acquired as they near the end of compulsory schooling
  • PISA is conducted after every three years. The last assessment was held in 2018 and the next will take place in 2022 (postponed from 2021 due to pandemic)
  • Since 2000, more than 90 countries (members and non-members of OECD) have participated in the assessment, with the involvement of over 30,00,000 students
Objectives of Upcoming Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)

PISA 2022

It will focus on mathematics, with an additional test of creative thinking. Preparations for this test are underway with participants from 38 OECD members and likely 50+ non-members involved. 

PISA 2025

It will focus on science and include a new assessment of foreign languages. The innovative domain of Learning in the Digital World that aims to measure students’ ability to engage in self-regulated learning while using digital tools will also be assessed.

PISA 2025 will also assess foreign language learning as an optional component.

India & PISA 2021

  • Before the upcoming PISA 2022, the last time India had participated in this survey was in 2009, and now, after more than a decade, India will be participating again in the assessment
  • In 2009, students from Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu had participated in PISA and India stood at the 72nd position among the 73 participating countries. It had only outranked Kyrgyzstan
  • For the upcoming test, students from government schools of Chandigarh will be participating in the test
  • Approximately 1.75 lakh students from government schools in Chandigarh, along with 600 Navodaya Vidyalayas and 3,000 Kendra Vidyalayas will take the three-hour-long PISA test in 2022
  • Learnings from participation in PISA will help to introduce competency-based examination reforms in the school system and help move away from rote learning. The CBSE and NCERT will be part of the process and activities leading to the actual test

Aspirants can also read about the State of School Education in India in the linked article and analyse the present situation of elementary education in the country. 

Kickstart your IAS preparation now and complement it with the links given below:

Result of PISA 2018

The assessment of students under PISA is not done to analyse the learning skills of a student but to analyse the logical and analytical skills of the students. 

In PISA 2018, the major domain was reading literacy, although mathematics and science literacy were also assessed and the result was released in May 2020. Given below are the key findings as per the result of PISA 2018:

  • PISA 2018 – Average Score of Mathematics, Science and Reading:
    • China ranked 1st with 578.7 scores
    • The Dominican Republic ranked last with 334.3 scores
  • PISA 2018 Mathematics Results:
    • China scored 591 which was the highest
    • The Dominican Republic came last with 325 points
  • PISA 2018 Science Results by Country:
    • China scored the highest of 590 points
    • The Dominican Republic scored last with 336 scores
  • PISA 2018 Reading Results:
    • China with the highest points 555
    • The Philippines scored the least scores of 340

Candidates preparing for competitive exams must also refer to Education Agenda for New India: RSTV – The Big Picture for descriptive type questions on education standard in the country. 

PISA – Programme for International Student Assessment:-Download Notes PDF Here

All aspirants preparing for the upcoming Civil Services Exam can visit the UPSC Syllabus page and get the comprehensive and topic-wise syllabus and accordingly start their preparation. 

For the latest exam updates, study material and preparation tips, turn to BYJU’S for assistance. 

UPSC 2022

Questions Based on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)


Q 1. Who sets the PISA test?

Ans. Educationalists across the globe set the PISA test and till date, approximately experts from 80 countries have contributed to setting up the exam.

Q 2. What is the key objective of conducted the PISA test?

Ans. The main aim of PISA is not to analyse the students individually, but to evaluate the overall education system of the participating countries. It judges the preparedness of students for higher education.

Q 3. Who all are eligible to give the test?

Ans. Countries volunteer to participate in the test and then are selected by OECD. Since all 15-year-old students in a country cannot be enrolled for PISA, the country specifies regions from which students participate in the test.
Other Related Links
IAS Salary Evolution Of India’s Education Policy
Right to Education Act (RTE) Higher and Technical Education in India
Major Issues in the Indian Education System Elementary Education: Moving Towards RTE And Quality Improvement
GS 1 Structure, Strategy and Syllabus Topic-Wise GS 1 Questions for UPSC Mains
Indian Society Questions for UPSC Mains GS 1 Governance Questions for UPSC Mains


Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published.