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Programme for International Student Assessment


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What is the Programme for International Student Assessment?

What are its objectives?

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a project of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) designed to provide policy-oriented international indicators of the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students. Three literacy domains are being assessed in PISA: Reading, Mathematics, and Science (More details on each domain are provided in the section on PISA Domains). In each cycle, two-thirds of testing time will be devoted to a major literacy domain. Thus far, three cycles of PISA have been completed: Reading in 2000, Mathematics in 2003, Science in 2006, reading in 2009 and mathematics in 2012. The 2015 assessment will focus on science.

PISA 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?

PISA Contacts Information

At Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC):
Skills Development Research Division
Policy Research Directorate
Strategic Policy and Research
140 Promenade du Portage
Phase IV, 3rd Floor
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0J9
Tel.: (819) 994-2621
Fax: (819) 934-6137
Contact us by e-mail

At the Council of Minister of Education, Canada (CMEC):
Pierre Brochu
Coordinator, International Assessments
Council of Ministers of Education, Canada
95 St-Clair Avenue West, Suite 1106
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M4V 1N6
(416) 962-8100 ext. 258

At Statistics Canada:
Client Services
Culture Tourism and the Centre for Education Statistics
Main Building, Room 2001
Tunney's Pasture
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0T6
Tel: (613) 951-7608
Fax: (613) 951-9040
Toll free: 1-800-307-3382


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