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Reading Literacy: Proficiency Levels


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Table R1. Percentage distribution of 15-year-old students on PISA reading literacy scale, by proficiency level and education system: 2012
Education system Below level 1b         Level 1b         Level 1a         Level 2         Level 3         Level 4         Level 5         Level 6
Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent   s.e.   Percent   s.e.   Percent   s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.
OECD average 1.3   0.05   4.4   0.08   12.3   0.13   23.5   0.16   29.1   0.17   21.0   0.16   7.3   0.10   1.1   0.04
Albania 12.0   0.84   15.9   1.00   24.4   1.23   24.7   1.01   15.9   0.73   5.9   0.61   1.1   0.24    
Argentina 8.1   0.80   17.7   1.20   27.7   1.34   27.3   1.12   14.6   0.91   4.0   0.57   0.5 ! 0.15    
Australia 0.9   0.11   3.1   0.21   10.2   0.42   21.6   0.47   29.1   0.53   23.3   0.51   9.8   0.46   1.9   0.19
Austria 0.8   0.24   4.8   0.64   13.8   0.84   24.2   0.89   29.6   0.92   21.2   0.94   5.2   0.59   0.3   0.10
Belgium 1.6   0.31   4.1   0.40   10.4   0.55   20.4   0.62   27.3   0.70   24.4   0.71   10.4   0.54   1.4   0.17
Brazil 4.0   0.36   14.8   0.64   30.4   0.79   30.1   0.77   15.8   0.63   4.4   0.37   0.5   0.12    
Bulgaria 8.0   1.07   12.8   1.15   18.6   1.10   22.2   1.16   21.4   1.10   12.7   1.03   3.8   0.56   0.5 ! 0.18
Canada 0.5   0.09   2.4   0.19   8.0   0.36   19.4   0.55   31.0   0.72   25.8   0.59   10.8   0.53   2.1   0.22
Chile 1.0   0.19   8.1   0.79   23.9   1.08   35.1   1.08   24.3   1.06   6.9   0.62   0.6   0.11    
Chinese Taipei 0.6   0.15   2.5   0.32   8.4   0.65   18.1   0.83   29.9   0.92   28.7   1.01   10.4   0.73   1.4   0.32
Colombia 5.0   0.76   15.4   0.98   31.0   1.29   30.5   1.22   14.5   0.91   3.2   0.50   0.3 ! 0.12    
Costa Rica 0.8 ! 0.24   7.3   1.02   24.3   1.25   38.1   1.40   22.9   1.42   6.0   0.78   0.6 ! 0.19    
Croatia 0.7 ! 0.25   4.0   0.59   13.9   0.97   27.8   1.07   31.2   1.24   17.8   1.09   4.2   0.66   0.2 ! 0.11
Cyprus 6.1   0.32   9.7   0.44   17.0   0.61   25.1   0.78   24.9   0.75   13.2   0.64   3.5   0.34   0.5   0.12
Czech Republic 0.6 ! 0.27   3.5   0.56   12.7   0.94   26.4   1.30   31.3   1.23   19.4   1.13   5.3   0.49   0.8   0.16
Denmark 0.8 ! 0.30   3.1   0.39   10.7   0.77   25.8   0.92   33.6   0.85   20.5   0.86   5.1   0.58   0.4 ! 0.12
Estonia     1.3   0.28   7.7   0.61   22.7   0.94   35.0   1.06   24.9   1.08   7.5   0.71   0.9   0.18
Finland 0.7   0.16   2.4   0.38   8.2   0.57   19.1   0.81   29.3   0.70   26.8   0.84   11.3   0.60   2.2   0.26
France 2.1   0.40   4.9   0.43   11.9   0.70   18.9   0.85   26.3   0.84   23.0   0.67   10.6   0.62   2.3   0.41
Germany 0.5 ! 0.18   3.3   0.40   10.7   0.67   22.1   0.93   29.9   0.86   24.6   0.88   8.3   0.64   0.7 ! 0.23
Greece 2.6   0.40   5.9   0.60   14.2   0.83   25.1   1.06   30.0   1.02   17.2   1.19   4.6   0.59   0.5   0.13
Hong Kong-China 0.2 ! 0.09   1.3   0.24   5.3   0.61   14.3   0.79   29.2   1.21   32.9   1.39   14.9   1.00   1.9   0.39
Hungary 0.7 ! 0.24   5.2   0.64   13.8   0.88   24.3   1.17   29.9   1.00   20.4   1.05   5.3   0.68   0.4 ! 0.13
Iceland 2.3   0.33   5.4   0.47   13.3   0.63   24.7   0.92   29.9   1.09   18.6   1.12   5.2   0.41   0.6 ! 0.21
Indonesia 4.1   0.81   16.3   1.28   34.8   1.56   31.6   1.54   11.5   1.28   1.5 ! 0.53        
Ireland 0.3 ! 0.13   1.9   0.35   7.5   0.69   19.6   1.19   33.4   1.17   26.0   0.90   10.1   0.67   1.3   0.35
Israel 3.8   0.59   6.9   0.74   12.9   0.96   20.8   0.87   25.3   0.81   20.6   1.03   8.1   0.77   1.5   0.30
Italy 1.6   0.15   5.2   0.29   12.7   0.48   23.7   0.57   29.7   0.53   20.5   0.62   6.1   0.33   0.6   0.07
Japan 0.6   0.16   2.4   0.37   6.7   0.67   16.6   0.89   26.7   0.98   28.4   1.08   14.6   0.99   3.9   0.59
Jordan 7.5   0.84   14.9   0.79   28.3   1.01   30.8   1.14   15.5   0.83   2.9   0.63        
Kazakhstan 4.2   0.47   17.3   1.24   35.6   1.15   31.3   1.12   10.4   0.87   1.2   0.24        
Korea, Republic of 0.4   0.13   1.7   0.39   5.5   0.60   16.4   0.94   30.8   1.00   31.0   1.06   12.6   1.05   1.6   0.32
Latvia 0.7 ! 0.24   3.7   0.54   12.6   0.96   26.7   1.31   33.1   1.05   19.1   0.88   3.9   0.56   0.3 ! 0.11
Liechtenstein #         10.5   1.85   22.4   3.44   28.6   4.53   25.7   2.44   10.4   2.44    
Lithuania 1.0   0.19   4.6   0.49   15.6   1.06   28.1   1.13   31.1   0.94   16.3   0.78   3.1   0.35   0.2 ! 0.07
Luxembourg 2.0   0.21   6.3   0.33   13.8   0.81   23.4   0.71   25.8   0.64   19.7   0.64   7.5   0.35   1.4   0.20
Macao-China 0.3 ! 0.11   2.1   0.22   9.0   0.42   23.3   0.58   34.3   0.67   24.0   0.60   6.4   0.48   0.6 ! 0.21
Malaysia 5.8   0.59   16.4   1.03   30.5   0.99   31.0   1.09   13.6   1.11   2.5   0.45        
Mexico 2.6   0.22   11.0   0.53   27.5   0.70   34.5   0.62   19.6   0.54   4.5   0.25   0.4   0.08    
Montenegro, Republic of 4.4   0.53   13.2   0.62   25.7   0.94   29.2   0.77   19.9   0.76   6.6   0.53   0.9   0.19    
Netherlands     2.8   0.49   10.3   0.93   21.0   1.27   29.2   1.32   26.1   1.36   9.0   0.72   0.8   0.19
New Zealand 1.3   0.28   4.0   0.46   11.0   0.67   20.8   0.76   26.3   1.06   22.7   1.06   10.9   0.62   3.0   0.37
Norway 1.7   0.31   3.7   0.36   10.8   0.69   21.9   1.03   29.4   1.35   22.3   1.21   8.5   0.61   1.7   0.31
Peru 9.8   0.87   20.6   1.11   29.5   0.98   24.9   1.02   11.4   0.96   3.3   0.61   0.5 ! 0.21    
Poland 0.3 ! 0.11   2.1   0.35   8.1   0.74   21.4   0.90   32.0   0.89   26.0   0.96   8.6   0.76   1.4   0.37
Portugal 1.3   0.30   5.1   0.53   12.3   0.98   25.5   1.16   30.2   1.46   19.7   1.07   5.3   0.57   0.5 ! 0.15
Qatar 13.6   0.32   18.9   0.48   24.6   0.44   21.9   0.50   13.5   0.43   5.8   0.21   1.4   0.13   0.2   0.05
Romania 2.5   0.38   10.3   0.82   24.4   1.28   30.6   1.12   21.8   1.17   8.7   0.88   1.5   0.35    
Russian Federation 1.1   0.18   5.2   0.49   16.0   1.03   29.5   1.08   28.3   1.05   15.3   0.93   4.2   0.51   0.5   0.12
Serbia, Republic of 2.6   0.40   9.3   0.73   21.3   1.09   30.8   1.20   23.3   1.15   10.5   0.81   2.0   0.39   0.2 ! 0.08
Shanghai-China     0.3 ! 0.11   2.5   0.34   11.0   0.85   25.3   0.85   35.7   1.07   21.3   0.98   3.8   0.65
Singapore 0.5   0.12   1.9   0.27   7.5   0.41   16.7   0.65   25.4   0.66   26.8   0.79   16.2   0.73   5.0   0.43
Slovak Republic 4.1   0.77   7.9   0.80   16.2   1.06   25.0   1.08   26.8   1.38   15.7   0.96   4.1   0.60    
Slovenia 1.2   0.14   4.9   0.37   15.0   0.71   27.2   0.77   28.4   0.94   18.2   0.63   4.7   0.45   0.3 ! 0.12
Spain 1.3   0.17   4.4   0.38   12.6   0.47   25.8   0.81   31.2   0.68   19.2   0.62   5.0   0.30   0.5   0.10
Sweden 2.9   0.39   6.0   0.64   13.9   0.72   23.5   0.88   27.3   0.73   18.6   0.93   6.7   0.53   1.2   0.20
Switzerland 0.5   0.14   2.9   0.34   10.3   0.59   21.9   0.86   31.5   0.71   23.8   0.84   8.2   0.60   1.0   0.25
Thailand 1.2   0.29   7.7   0.77   24.1   0.98   36.0   1.12   23.5   1.13   6.7   0.79   0.8   0.21    
Tunisia 6.2   0.91   15.5   1.20   27.6   1.31   31.4   1.43   15.6   1.15   3.5   0.69        
Turkey 0.6   0.15   4.5   0.57   16.6   1.07   30.8   1.39   28.7   1.34   14.5   1.39   4.1   0.79   0.3 ! 0.13
United Arab Emirates 3.3   0.34   10.4   0.65   21.8   0.72   28.6   0.72   24.0   0.77   9.7   0.58   2.1   0.28   0.2 ! 0.06
United Kingdom 1.5   0.27   4.0   0.54   11.2   0.79   23.5   1.01   29.9   1.08   21.3   1.14   7.5   0.59   1.3   0.24
United States 0.8 ! 0.24   3.6   0.49   12.3   0.89   24.9   0.99   30.5   0.88   20.1   1.08   6.9   0.59   1.0   0.22
Uruguay 6.4   0.70   14.7   0.84   25.9   0.88   28.9   1.00   17.4   0.71   5.7   0.62   0.9   0.26    
Vietnam     1.5 ! 0.48   7.8   1.10   23.7   1.40   39.0   1.47   23.4   1.47   4.2   0.71   0.4 ! 0.16
                                                               
U.S. state education systems                                                              
Connecticut     3.2   0.87   9.7   1.26   19.6   1.49   28.2   1.32   24.4   1.83   11.7   1.38   2.9   0.54
Florida 0.7 ! 0.31   3.6   0.75   13.2   1.46   25.8   1.56   30.9   1.50   20.4   2.06   4.9   1.00    
Massachusetts     2.3   0.55   8.6   1.19   18.5   1.76   29.8   1.52   24.2   1.82   12.9   1.59   3.2   0.86
† Not applicable.
# Rounds to zero.
! Interpret data with caution. Estimate is unstable due to high coefficient of variation.
‡ Reporting standards not met.
NOTE: To reach a particular proficiency level, a student must correctly answer a majority of items at that level. Students were classified into reading literacy levels according to their scores. Exact cut scores are as follows: below level 1b (a score less than or equal to 262.04); level 1b (a score greater than 262.04 and less than or equal to 334.75); level 1a (a score greater than 334.75 and less than or equal to 407.47); level 2 (a score greater than 407.47 and less than or equal to 480.18); level 3 (a score greater than 480.18 and less than or equal to 552.89); level 4 (a score greater than 552.89 and less than or equal to 625.61); level 5 (a score greater than 625.61 and less than or equal to 698.32); and level 6 (a score greater than 698.32). Scores are reported on a scale from 0 to 1,000. The OECD average is the average of the national percentages of the OECD member countries, with each country weighted equally. Standard error is noted by s.e. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Italics indicate non-OECD countries and education systems. Results for Connecticut, Florida, and Massachusetts are for public school students only.
SOURCE: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), 2012.

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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education