PISA 2022 Results

Achievement scales
Scale Creation

A generalized partial credit IRT model was used to create the achievement scales.

  • New scales were standardized with a mean score of 500 and standard deviation of 100 among OECD countries.
  • Existing scales were scaled on a calibration sample including responses from past PISA waves and equated to previous scales using linear transformations.

PISA uses the imputation methodology usually referred to as plausible values (PVs).

  • For each scale and subscale, ten plausible values per student were included in the international database.

Plausible values were imputed using a multi-dimensional model.

List of Achievement Scales


  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics subscales
    • Mathematical process subscale: Formulating situations mathematically
    • Mathematical process subscale: Employing mathematical concepts, facts, and procedures
    • Mathematical process subscale: Interpreting, applying and evaluating mathematical outcomes
    • Mathematical process subscale: Mathematical reasoning
    • Mathematical content subscale: Change and relationships
    • Mathematical content subscale: Quantity
    • Mathematical content subscale: Space and shape
    • Mathematical content subscale: Uncertainty and data
  • Reading
  • Science
  • Creative thinking
  • Financial literacy
Background scales
Scale Creation

Simple indices are the variables that are constructed through the arithmetic transformation or recoding of one or more items in exactly the same way across assessments.


New and trend scale indices are the variables constructed through the scaling of multiple items. Unless otherwise indicated, such indices have been scaled using a two-parameter item response model (a generalized partial credit model was used in the case of items with more than two categories) and the index values correspond to Warm likelihood estimates (WLE).


Scale indices were constructed through the scaling of items. Typically, scale scores for these indices were estimates of latent traits derived through Item Response Theory (IRT) scaling of dichotomous or Likert-type items.

Complex composite indices are based on a combination of two or more indices. There was only one complex composite index derived from the Student Questionnaire: the index of economic, social and cultural status (ESCS).

PISA 2022 used a new within-construct matrix sampling design for some indices. Every student was administered a random subset of five items for each construct. This design ensured that each item was administered to approximately the same number of students in each country/economy as well as the overall sample. This within-construct matrix design was only used for some of the IRT-based scales in the Student Questionnaire.

Only scale indices are listed below.


List of Background Scales
  • Index of economic, social and cultural status (ESCS)
  • Home possessions
  • ICT resources
  • Information seeking regarding future career
  • Being bullied
  • Feeling safe
  • Mathematics teacher support
  • Quality of student-teacher relationships
  • School safety risks
  • Sense of belonging
  • Growth mindset
  • Mathematics anxiety
  • Mathematics self-efficacy: Formal and applied mathematics
  • Mathematics self-efficacy: Mathematical reasoning and 21st century mathematics
  • Proactive mathematics study behaviour
  • Subjective familiarity with mathematics concepts
  • Assertiveness
  • Cooperation
  • Curiosity
  • Emotional control
  • Empathy
  • Perseverance
  • Stress resistance
  • Exposure to formal and applied mathematics tasks
  • Exposure to mathematical reasoning and 21st century mathematics topics
  • Cognitive activation in mathematics: Foster reasoning
  • Cognitive activation in mathematics: Encourage mathematical thinking
  • Disciplinary climate in mathematics
  • Family support
  • Creative peers and family environment
  • Creative school and class environment
  • Creative thinking self-efficacy
  • Creativity and openness to intellect
  • Imagination and adventurousness
  • Openness to art and reflection
  • Participation in creative activities at school
  • Participation in creative activities outside of school
  • Family support for self-directed learning
  • Feelings about learning at home
  • Problems with self-directed learning
  • Self-directed learning self-efficacy
  • School actions to sustain learning
  • Types of learning resources used while school was closed


School questionnaire scales

  • Negative school climate
  • School diversity and multi-cultural views
  • Student-related factors affecting school climate
  • Teacher-related factors affecting school climate
  • Extra-curricular activities offered
  • Shortage of educational material
  • Shortage of educational staff
  • Educational leadership
  • Instructional leadership
  • School autonomy
  • Teacher participation
  • Digital device policies at school
  • Mathematics teacher training
  • Feedback to teachers
  • Use of standardized tests
  • Use of teacher-developed tests
  • School encouragement of parent or guardian involvement
  • Beliefs about creativity
  • Creative school activities offered
  • Creative school environment
  • Openness culture/climate
  • Problems with schools’ capacity to provide remote instruction 
  • School preparation for remote instruction - Before pandemic
  • School preparation for remote instruction - In response to pandemic 
  • Preparedness for digital learning


Optional ICT familiarity questionnaire scales

  • ICT availability at school
  • ICT availability outside school
  • Quality of access to ICT
  • Subject-related ICT use during lessons
  • Use of ICT in enquiry-based learning activities
  • Support or feedback via ICT
  • Use of ICT for school activities outside of the classroom
  • Frequency of ICT activity - Weekday
  • Frequency of ICT activity - Weekend
  • Views of regulated ICT use in school
  • Students’ practices regarding online information
  • Self-efficacy in digital competencies


Optional well-being questionnaire scales

  • Body image
  • Social connection to parents
  • Students' life satisfaction across domains
  • Psychosomatic symptoms
  • Social connections: Ease of communication about worries and concerns
  • Experienced well-being - Previous day


Optional financial literacy questionnaire scales

  • Financial education in school lessons
  • Financial education in school lessons - Multiple subjects
  • Parental involvement in matters of financial literacy
  • Access to money and financial products - Sources of money
  • Confidence about financial matters
  • Confidence about financial matters using digital devices
  • Access to money and financial products - Financial activities
  • Attitudes towards and confidence about financial matters
  • Friends’ influence on financial matters


Optional parent questionnaire scales

  • Current parental/guardian support
  • Parent attitudes toward mathematics
  • Mathematics career
  • Parental involvement
  • School quality
  • School policies for parental involvement
  • Parents' attitudes towards immigrants
  • Creative home environment
  • Participation in creative activities outside of school
  • Creativity and openness to intellect
  • Openness to creativity: Other’s report


Optional teacher questionnaire scales

  • Proportion of professional development
  • Exchange and co-ordination for teaching
  • Teaching ICT awareness
  • Teachers’ use of specific ICT applications
  • Disciplinary climate in mathematics
  • Need for professional development
  • Teachers' attitudes toward equal rights for immigrants
  • Satisfaction with current job environment
  • Satisfaction with teaching profession
  • Teacher’s self-efficacy in classroom management
  • Teacher’s self-efficacy in maintaining positive relations with students
  • Teacher’s self-efficacy in instructional settings
  • Teacher use of ICT
  • Emphasis on ICT competencies
  • Teaching of mathematical reasoning and 21st century mathematics topics
  • Encouraging mathematical thinking
  • Fostering reasoning
  • Goals and views about teaching mathematics
  • Adaptation of instruction
  • Feedback provided by the teachers
  • Openness to creativity
  • Creative values
  • Teachers' use of creative pedagogies
  • Teachers' capacity to concentrate at work
  • Teachers' affect
  • Teachers' feeling of trust
  • Teachers' work overload
  • Teachers' work autonomy
  • School leadership
  • Occupational stress
  • Sources of stress

Negative physical symptoms

Overview of key study results

Mathematics (primary focus)

  • Singapore scored significantly higher than all other countries/economies in mathematics (575 points) and, along with Hong Kong (China)*, Japan, Korea, Macao (China), and Chinese Taipei, outperformed all other countries and economies in mathematics. Another 17 countries also performed above the OECD average (472 points), ranging from Estonia (510 points) to New Zealand* (479 points).
  • An average of 69% of students are at least basically proficient in mathematics in OECD countries. This means they are beginning to demonstrate the ability and initiative to use mathematics in simple real-life situations.
  • In 16 out of 81 countries/economies participating in PISA 2022, more than 10% of students attained Level 5 or 6 proficiency, meaning they are high performing: they understand that a problem is quantitative in nature and can formulate complex mathematical models to solve it. By contrast, less than 5% of students are high performing in 42 countries/economies.


Reading and science

  • Singapore scored significantly higher than all other countries/economies in reading (543 points) and science (561 points). Behind Singapore, Ireland* performed as well as Estonia, Japan, Korea, and Chinese Taipei while another 14 education systems also performed above the OECD average in reading (476 points), ranging from Macao (China) (510 points) to Italy (482 points).
  • In science, the highest-performing education systems are Singapore, Japan, Macao (China), and Chinese Taipei, Korea, Estonia, Hong Kong (China)* and Canada*. Finland performed as well as Canada* in science. In addition to these nine countries and economies, another 15 education systems also performed above the OECD average in science (485 points), ranging from Australia* (507 points) to Belgium (491 points).
  • About three out of four students have achieved basic proficiency in reading and science in OECD countries.
  • In reading and science, an OECD average of 7% of students attained the highest proficiency levels of 5 or 6. In 13 countries/economies, more than 10% of students are top performers in reading. In 14 countries/economies, more than 10% of students are top performers in science.


Trends in performance

  • No change in the OECD average over consecutive PISA assessments up to 2018 has ever exceeded four points in mathematics and five points in reading: in PISA 2022, however, the OECD average dropped by almost 15 points in mathematics and about 10 score points in reading compared to PISA 2018. Mean performance in science, however, remained stable. The unprecedented drops in mathematics and reading point to the shock effect of COVID-19 on most countries.
  • Only four countries and economies improved their performance between PISA 2018 and 2022 in all three subjects: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, the Dominican Republic, and Chinese Taipei.
  • Trend analysis of PISA results reveals a decades-long decline that began well before the pandemic. In reading and science, performances peaked in 2012 and 2009, respectively, before dipping while performance began a downward descent in mathematics before 2018 in Australia*, Belgium, Canada*, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Korea, the Netherlands*, New Zealand*, the Slovak Republic and Switzerland.
  • Four countries and economies are bucking this trend of long-term decline: Colombia, Macao (China), Peru, and Qatar. Their results have improved on average in all three subjects over the full period they have participated in PISA. Four other countries (Israel, Republic of Moldova, Singapore, and Türkiye) have improved in two out of three subjects.


 Equity in education

  • Education systems in Canada*, Denmark*, Finland, Hong Kong (China)*, Ireland*, Japan, Korea, Latvia*, Macao (China), and the United Kingdom* are highly equitable by PISA’s standard (combining high levels of inclusion and fairness).
  • The percentage of 15-year-olds enrolled in school in Grade 7 or above in each country/economy ranges from 36% in Cambodia and 48% in Guatemala to 90% or more in 34 countries and economies.
  • Socio-economically advantaged students scored 93 points more in mathematics than disadvantaged students on average across OECD countries. The performance gap attributed to students’ socio-economic status is greater than 93 score points in 22 countries or economies and 50 points or fewer in 13 countries or economies.
  • Boys outperformed girls in mathematics by nine score points and girls outperformed boys in reading by 24 score points on average across OECD countries. In science, the performance difference between boys and girls is not significant.
  • Non-immigrant students scored 29 points more than immigrant students in mathematics on average across OECD countries, but non-immigrant students scored only five points more than immigrant students once socio-economic status and language spoken at home had been accounted for.
  • An average of 8% of students in the OECD area reported not eating at least once a week in the past 30 days because there was not enough money to buy food. In 18 countries/economies, more than 20% of students reported not being able to afford to eat at least once a week.


Trends in equity

  • The socio-economic gap in mathematics performance did not change between 2018 and 2022 in 51 out of the 68 countries/economies with available PISA data; it widened in 12 countries/economies and narrowed in five (Argentina, Chile, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates).
  • The gender gap in mathematics performance did not change between 2018 and 2022 in most countries/economies (57 out of the 72 with comparable data); it widened in 11 countries/economies and narrowed in four (Albania, Baku [Azerbaijan], Colombia, and Montenegro).




Resilient education systems

  • Four education systems, namely Japan, Korea, Lithuania, and Chinese Taipei, could be considered “resilient” with regard to mathematics performance, equity, and well-being. Twenty-one other education systems were resilient in one or two of the three aspects considered. 
  • Between 2018 and 2022 trends in students’ sense of belonging at school were mixed, with equal proportions of countries/economies showing stable, improving, or deteriorating trends. Of the 47 education systems with improving or stable trends, only 20 maintained or attained a level of students’ sense of belonging at school that was at or above the OECD average.
  • Disadvantaged students in 2022 were more likely than their advantaged peers to report feeling that they have fewer opportunities to form close bonds at and with school. However, PISA 2022 results suggest that systems offering greater fairness in learning opportunities also offer greater fairness in social opportunities. 
  • Education systems that were resilient in mathematics performance differed in certain policies, practices, and characteristics compared to other countries/economies, including in their response to COVID-19, in parental support and school climate, and in their approaches to selecting and grouping students, and to governing and allocating resources to schools.


How learning continued when schools were closed

  • Two out of three countries/economies closed their schools for longer than three months for a majority of their students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students in systems that spared more students from longer closures scored higher in mathematics and reported a greater sense of belonging at school.
  • Almost one in two students indicated that, when learning at home, they frequently had difficulty motivating themselves to do schoolwork, and one in three students frequently did not fully understand school assignments, on average across OECD countries.
  • Students in education systems whose schools provided more activities to maintain learning and well-being during school closures reported feeling more confident in their ability to learn autonomously and remotely if their school has to close again in the future.


Life at school and support from home

  • On average across OECD countries, almost 40% of students reported that, in most lessons, the teacher does not show an interest in every student’s learning or does not continue teaching until students understand the material.
  • Some 30% of students, on average across OECD countries, reported that, in most or every mathematics lesson, they get distracted using digital devices; 25% of students reported that they get distracted by other students using these devices in class.
  • On average across OECD countries, students who reported feeling safe and were not exposed to bullying or risks at school have a stronger sense of belonging at school, feel more confident about their capacity for self-directed learning, and are overall more satisfied with life.
  • In all countries/economies with available data, students who enjoy more support from their families reported a greater sense of belonging at school and life satisfaction, and more confidence in their capacity for self-directed learning. In most countries/economies, these students also reported feeling less anxiety towards mathematics. 

Selecting and grouping students

  • On average across OECD countries and in a majority of education systems, students who had attended pre-primary education for at least one year were considerably less likely to have repeated a grade than students who had never attended pre-primary education or who had attended for less than one year, even after accounting for socio-economic factors.
  • In equitable and high-performing education systems, almost all students had attended pre-primary school; few students had repeated a grade; socio-economically advantaged and disadvantaged students were not heavily concentrated in certain schools; students were tracked into different curricular programmes relatively late; and comparatively few students were grouped by ability between classes.


Educational resources

  • In more than half of all education systems with available data, and on average across OECD countries, more students in 2022 than in 2018 attended a school whose principal reported that instruction is hindered by a shortage of education staff. In 58 countries/economies, the share of students in schools whose principal reported that instruction is hindered by a lack of teaching staff increased between 2018 and 2022.
  • On average across OECD countries and in 41 education systems, socio-economically disadvantaged schools were more likely than advantaged schools to suffer from a lack of or poor-quality digital resources.
  • Some 29% of students in schools where the use of cell phones is banned reported using a smartphone several times a day, on average across OECD countries, illustrating that cell phone bans are not always effectively enforced.
  • In those education systems where more students in 2022 than in 2018 attended schools that offer peer-to-peer tutoring, students’ sense of belonging at school strengthened during the period.


School governance

  • The top three quality-assurance mechanisms that appear to ensure that greater school autonomy is associated with better academic performance in mathematics are: teacher mentoring; monitoring teacher practice by having inspectors observe classes; and systematic recording of students’ test results and graduation rates.
  • Strong-performing school systems entrust principals and teachers with more responsibility.
  • Principals of private schools were more likely than their counterparts in public schools to report that their school is prepared for remote learning – even after all the efforts public schools made to improve digital learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.