What is the OECD PISA for Schools Test?


Making informed decisions about student learning can be difficult without the right experience, knowledge and data to shape an accurate understanding of how students are performing and how best to improve their learning outcomes. A well-crafted testing regime can be a good starting point to understand student performance, however, they can come with significant limitations when schools embark on these practices alone.

Without being able to compare performances between schools it can be difficult to know how well the educational facility as a whole is performing and where educators can invest their time, effort and funds to improve the education of the children under their care. Furthermore, even the best test doesn’t provide context for why students might be performing at their level.

This is the gap that the OECD PISA for Schools Test was designed to fill. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation that aims to establish evidence-based international standards and offer solutions to complex social, economic and environmental challenges. PISA, or the Programme for International Student Assessment, is intended to help benchmark student performance in reading, mathematics and science, and help equip schools with the data they need to make effective decisions on learning environments and teaching practices.

Every three years the OECD runs their Programme for International Student Assessment to measure student and school performance across the world. These results, from carefully crafted, standardised tests, form the basis for the OECD’s international benchmarks for education. The OECD PISA for Schools Test is a voluntary online assessment for 15-year olds that schools can undertake on an annual basis to help benchmark them against these international standards.

The OECD PISA for Schools Test is split into two components:

  • 2-Hour Cognitive Test: On the topics of reading, mathematics and science, this test is intended to present students with real-life scenarios and assess their critical thinking and problem-solving skills beyond the curriculum.
  • 30-Minute Interpersonal Questionnaire: This questionnaire is designed to provide context to the results found in the assessment, including information on the student’s situation at home, attitude to school, their learning environment, as well as their confidence and motivation regarding their education.

What are the benefits of the PISA for Schools Test?

The OECD Pisa for Schools Test is a one of a kind assessment that brings together quantitative and qualitative data to help schools make better decisions about their learning environment. Some of the major benefits include:

Competency-based assessment.

The PISA for Schools Test focuses on assessing the competency of students, testing their ability to retrieve and creatively apply knowledge by presenting them with scenario-based questions. This helps move beyond the limitations of the school curriculum and truly understand student capabilities.

Connect with other schools and share best-practice approaches to learning.

Participation in the OECD PISA for Schools Test provides your school with professional development opportunities and exchange of best practices between teachers and schools internationally.

Benchmark performance at the student, school and international level.

As a one-of-a-kind test, the PISA scale allows schools to understand how their students and schools compare to others both locally and internationally. An 80-page report offers insights into student learning outcomes and socio-emotional situation, something that no other test is able to do at this scale.

Better understand the context behind your students’ results.

The results from the interpersonal questionnaire provide teachers with a more holistic view of their students’ situations and allows them to make better-informed decisions about their learning environment.

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