Skip Navigation
small NCES header image

Table B.1.49. Average scores of U.S. 15-year-old students in PISA on reading literacy scale, by selected percentiles: 2000, 2003, and 2009
Selected percentiles 2000   2003   2009
Score   s.e.   Score   s.e.   Score   s.e.
95th percentile 669   6.8   651   4.5   656   5.8
90th percentile 636   6.5   622   3.5   625   5.0
75th percentile 577   6.8   568   3.6   569   4.6
50th percentile 511   7.0   501   3.6   501   4.2
25th percentile 436   8.8   429   4.1   433   4.0
10th percentile 363   11.4   361   5.2   372   3.9
5th percentile 320   11.7   319 * 6.6   339   4.2
U.S. average 504   7.1   495   3.2   500   3.7
* p < .05. Significantly different from the 2009 score of that percentile at the .05 level of statistical significance.
NOTE: This table shows the threshold (or cut point) score for the following: (a) 5th percentile – the bottom 5 percent of students; (b) 10th percentile – the bottom 10 percent of students; (c) 25th percentile – the bottom quarter of students; (d) 50th percentile – the median (half the students scored below the cut point and half scored above it); (e) 75th percentile – the top quarter of students; (f) 90th percentile – the top 10 percent of students; and (g) 95th percentile – the top 5 percent of students. The percentile ranges are specific to the United States' distribution of scores and assessment administration, enabling users to compare scores at the cut points over time. The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2006 reading literacy results are not reported for the United States because of an error in printing the test booklets. For more details, see Baldi et al. 2007 (available at http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2008016). Scores are reported on a scale from 0 to 1,000. Standard error is noted by s.e.
SOURCE: Fleischman, H.L., Hopstock, P. J., Pelczar, M.P, and Shelly, B.E. (2010). Highlights From PISA 2009: Performance of U.S. 15-Year-Old Students in Reading, Mathematics, and Science Literacy in an International Context (NCES 2011-004), supplemental table R6a. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Would you like to help us improve our products and website by taking a short survey?

YES, I would like to take the survey

or

No Thanks

The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.
National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education