2015 PISA Results

U.S. Ranks 25th, Singapore 1st, in 2015 PISA Results

The 2015 PISA results were released today, with Singapore ranking first in every category—reading, math, and science. The United States came in twenty-fifth.

As described by CNN, PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) is “a benchmark of education systems conducted every three years by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a grouping of the world’s richest economies.” The 2015 exam tested “half a million 15-year-olds in 72 countries and economies.”

Top 25 List for Performance in Science, Reading, and Mathematics

  1. Singapore
  2. Japan
  3. Estonia
  4. Taiwan
  5. Finland
  6. Macau
  7. Canada
  8. Vietnam
  9. Hong Kong
  10. China (provinces of Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Guangdong)
  11. Korea
  12. New Zealand
  13. Slovenia
  14. Australia
  15. United Kingdom
  16. Germany
  17. Netherlands
  18. Switzerland
  19. Ireland
  20. Belgium
  21. Denmark
  22. Poland
  23. Portugal
  24. Norway
  25. United States

Science was the primary subject for the 2015 PISA. East Asian countries and Hong Kong secured seven of the top ten spots in science, and Canada ranked seventh. China fell to tenth place after placing at the top in 2009 and 2012.

Results for the U.S. were average in science and reading but below average in math. Andreas Schleicher, director of education for the OECD, shares a silver lining of the U.S.’s middling performance: American students “report more frequently than Chinese students do that they value scientific approaches to enquiry, adopt a questioning approach, search for data and their meaning, demand verification, and respect logic and pay attention to premises.”

The 2015 PISA results also reveal gender gaps in science achievement. Although boys and girls demonstrate near-equal expectations of pursuing careers in science, boys outscore girls by, on average, four points in that field. The gender gap in reading is the reverse, with girls scoring an average of twenty-seven points higher than boys, although that gap narrowed by a twelve-point average since 2009.

In the 2012 PISA, which focused on math, the U.S. ranked thirty-sixth.

Download the full report below to see all national rankings:

PISA 2015 Results

Adelia Humme

Adelia Humme

Previously an academic adviser at her alma mater, Texas A&M University, Adelia has contributed her editorial skills to The Eckleburg Project, Redivider, and Texas A&M University Press. She recently moved from Texas to Boston to pursue a master's degree in publishing & writing at Emerson College. She devotes her free time to reading fantasy novels and spoiling cats.