PISA 2018 Framework

Assessment or survey framework

Reading framework

A new reading framework was developed for PISA 2018. While this new framework shares many similarities with the 2000 and 2009 frameworks, it has been reconceptualized to address the main differences between print and online reading.

Definition: Reading literacy is understanding, using, evaluating, reflecting on, and engaging with texts in order to achieve one’s goals, develop one’s knowledge and potential, and participate in society.

Organization of the domain along three dimensions:

  • Reading processes
    • Text processing
      • Reading fluently
        • The ease and efficiency of reading simple texts for understanding
      • Locating information
        • Accessing and retrieving information within a piece of text
        • Searching for and selecting relevant text
      • Understanding text
        • Acquiring a representation of the literal meaning of text
        • Constructing an integrated representation of text
      • Evaluating and reflecting on text
        • Assessing its quality and credibility
        • Reflecting on content and form
        • Detecting and handling conflict
    • Metacognitive task management processes
      • Setting goals and plans
      • Monitoring
      • Regulating
  • Text
    • Source: single, multiple
    • Organizational and navigational structure: static, dynamic
    • Format: continuous texts (organized in sentences and paragraphs); non-continuous texts (e.g., lists, forms, graphs or diagrams), mixed texts
    • Type: description, narration, exposition, argumentation, instruction, interaction, transaction
  • Situations
    • Refers to both the context of use and the supposed audience and purpose of the text
    • Includes
      • Personal
      • Public
      • Occupational
      • Educational


Mathematics framework

Definition: Mathematical literacy is an individual’s capacity to formulate, employ and interpret mathematics in a variety of contexts. It includes reasoning mathematically and using mathematical concepts, procedures, facts and tools to describe, explain, and predict phenomena. It assists individuals to recognize the role that mathematics plays in the world and to make the well-founded judgements and decisions needed by constructive, engaged, and reflective citizens.

Organization of the domain along three dimensions:

  • Mathematical processes
    • Describe
      • What individuals do to connect the context of a problem with mathematics and thus solve the problem
      • The capabilities that underlie such processes
    • PISA defines three categories of processes
      • Formulating situations mathematically
      • Employing mathematical concepts, facts, procedures, and reasoning
      • Interpreting, applying, and evaluating mathematical outcomes
    • These three processes each draw on seven fundamental mathematical capabilities
      • Communicating
      • Mathematizing
      • Representing
      • Reasoning and arguing
      • Devising strategies for solving problems
      • Using symbolic, formal, and technical language and operations
      • Using mathematical tools
  • The mathematical content targeted for use in the assessment items
    • Change and relationships
    • Space and shape
    • Quantity
    • Uncertainty and data
  • The contexts in which the assessment items are located
    • Personal
    • Occupational
    • Societal
    • Scientific


Science framework

Definition: Scientific literacy is the ability to engage with science-related issues and the ideas of science as a reflective citizen.

Organization of the domain along three dimensions

  • Contexts: Personal, local/national, and global issues, both current and historical, that demand some understanding of science and technology
  • Knowledge: Understanding of the major facts, concepts and explanatory theories that form the basis of scientific knowledge, including
    • Content knowledge
    • Procedural knowledge
    • Epistemic knowledge
  • Competencies
    • Explaining phenomena scientifically
    • Evaluating and designing scientific enquiry
    • Interpreting data and evidence scientifically


Global competence framework

Global competence is a multidimensional, life-long learning goal. It is composed of four highly interdependent dimensions:

  • The capacity to examine issues and situations of local, global, and intercultural significance (e.g., poverty, economic interdependence, migration, inequality, environmental risks, conflicts, cultural differences, and stereotypes)
  • The capacity to understand and appreciate different perspectives and worldviews
  • The ability to establish positive interactions with people of different national, ethnic, religious, social, or cultural backgrounds and gender
  • The capacity to take constructive action towards sustainable development and collective well-being.

The cognitive test exclusively focused on the construct of global understanding, i.e., the combination of background knowledge and cognitive skills required to solve problems related to global and intercultural issues.

The framework distinguishes four interrelated cognitive processes that globally competent students need to use in order to fully understand global or intercultural issues and situations:

  • The capacity to evaluate information, formulate arguments and explain complex situations and problems by using and connecting evidence, identifying biases and gaps in information and managing conflicting arguments
  • The capacity to identify and analyze multiple perspectives and world views, positioning and connecting their own and others’ perspectives on the world.
  • The capacity to understand differences in communication, recognizing the importance of socially appropriate communication conventions and adapting communication to the demands of diverse cultural contexts
  • The capacity to evaluate actions and consequences by identifying and comparing different courses of action and weighing these actions against one another on the basis of short- and long-term consequences


Financial literacy framework

Definition: Financial literacy is the knowledge and understanding of financial concepts and risks, and the skills, motivation and confidence to apply such knowledge and understanding in order to make effective decisions across a range of financial contexts, to improve the financial well-being of individuals and society, and to enable participation in economic life.

Organization of the domain along three dimensions:

  • Content – the essential areas of knowledge and understanding
    • Money and transactions
    • Planning and managing finances
    • Risk and reward
    • Financial landscape
  • Processes – the mental strategies or approaches that are called upon to negotiate financial material
    • Identifying financial information
    • Analyzing information in a financial context
    • Evaluating financial issues
    • Applying financial knowledge and understanding
    • Understanding
  • Contexts – the situations in which financial knowledge, skills, and understanding are applied
    • Education and work
    • Home and family
    • Individual
    • Societal
Contextual or background framework

Student background constructs

  • Out-of-school reading experiences
  • Student SES, family and home background
  • Migration and culture
  • Educational pathways in early childhood


Schooling constructs

  • Teaching and learning
    • Teacher qualifications and professional development
    • Teaching practices for reading
    • Learning time and curriculum
  • School policies
    • School-level learning environment for reading
    • Parental involvement
    • School climate: interpersonal relationships, trust, and expectations
    • School context and resources
  • Governance
    • Assessment, evaluation, and accountability
    • Allocation, selection, and choice


Non-cognitive/metacognitive constructs

  • Reading-related outcomes; attitudes, motivation, and strategies
  • Dispositional and school-focused variables
  • Dispositions for global competence