PISA measures three domains: mathematical literacy, reading literacy, and scientific literacy. In addition, PISA 2003 measured problem-solving skills. Forty-one countries participated in the 2003 PISA survey. PISA 2003 consisted of the following:
Furthermore, as part of PISA, national options could also be implemented. Canada chose to add a 20-minute student questionnaire from the Youth in Transition Survey (YITS) in order to collect more information on 15-year-olds' school experiences, work activities and relationships with others. Finally, a 30-minute interview was conducted with parents.
Between 4,000 and 10,000 students were assessed in each participating country. In Canada, approximately 28,000 15-year-old students from more than 1,000 schools participated in PISA in order to collect information at the provincial level and to allow for estimates for both official language groups.