Program for International Students Assessment

The new Programme for International Student Assessment of the OECD

The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international assessment that measures 15-year-old students' reading, mathematics, and science literacy.

What Is PISA

PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) is an international study which began in the year 2000. It aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year old students in participating countries/economies. Since the year 2000 over 70 countries and economies have participated in PISA.


When does PISA occur?

Three-yearly assessments: 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012 ...

ISA aims

ISA aims to assess to what degree students approaching the end of their compulsory education have acquired some of the knowledge and skills that are essential for full participation in society. PISA hopes to answer the following questions:

  • How well are young adults prepared to meet the challenges of the future?
  • Are they able to analyse, reason and communicate their ideas effectively?
  • Do they have the capacity to continue learning throughout life?
  • Are some kinds of teaching and school organization more effective than others


Four groups are involved in the day-to-day running of PISA.

  • OECD Secretariat - responsible for the day-to-day management of PISA.

  • PISA Governing Board - determines the policy priorities and makes sure that these are respected during the implementation of each PISA survey.

  • PISA National Project Managers (NPMs) oversee the implementation of PISA in each participating country/economy.
    - PISA 2015 NPMs
    - PISA 2012 NPMs
  • International contractors - they design and implement the surveys. Questions for the international contractors should first be directed to the OECD Secretariat.