A peek at PISA

by Marilyn Achiron
Editor, Directorate for Education and Skills

Sorry, we can’t divulge the results (those will be announced on 6 December); but now that we have your attention, we thought you might like to learn a little more about the test, itself, so that when the results are finally announced, you’ll have a better idea of what those results mean.

PISA 2015 focused on science, with the understanding that, although not every student is interested in becoming a scientist, all of us now need to be able to “think like a scientist” sometimes – to be able to weigh evidence and come to a conclusion, and to understand that scientific “truth” may change over time, as new discoveries are made. This month’s PISA in Focus walks you through a typical question in the PISA science test and explains what it can show about students’ proficiency in science. Each question is designed to reveal a certain skill or set of skills. In PISA 2015, these skills included explaining phenomena scientifically (based on knowledge of scientific facts and ideas), evaluating and designing scientific enquiry, and interpreting data and evidence scientifically. 

If you’re curious to see how you might do on the PISA science test, you can test yourself on a few sample science questions at www.oecd.org/pisa. And if you want a broader idea of how PISA works – which schools and students get to participate, what PISA really aims to do, and how participating countries and economies might use PISA results – take a look at the short, animated video, “How does PISA work?” at the same address.

Now, we know that you really want to find out the results of the PISA 2015 test, so…

Come back on 6 December!

PISA in Focus No. 66: How does PISA assess science literacy? Francesco Avvisati
PISA à la loupe n° 66: Comment l’enquête PISA évalue-t-elle la culture scientifique ? 
Find out more about PISA: oecd.org/edu/pisa
Photo credit: © Hero Images Inc. / Hero Images Inc. / Corbis.

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