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Reading Literacy: Proficiency Levels


High and Low Performers

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Figure R1a. Percentage of 15-year-old students performing at PISA reading literacy proficiency levels 5 and above and below level 2, by education system: 2012

data in this figure can be found in the table below

! Interpret data with caution. Estimate is unstable due to high coefficient of variation.
Reporting standards not met.
* p<.05. Significantly different from the U.S. percentage at the .05 level of statistical significance.
NOTE: Education systems are ordered by 2012 percentages of 15-year-olds in levels 5 and above. To reach a particular proficiency level, a student must correctly answer a majority of items at that level. Students were classified into reading proficiency 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. Italics indicate non-OECD countries and education systems. Results for Connecticut, Florida, and Massachusetts are for public school students only. This figure corresponds to figure 3 in Performance of U.S. 15-Year-Old Students in Mathematics, Science, and Reading Literacy in an International Context (NCES 2014-024).
SOURCE: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), 2012.


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Table R1b. Percentage of 15-year-old students performing at PISA reading literacy proficiency levels 5 and above and below level 2, by education system: 2012
Education system Below level 2   Levels 5 and above   Education system Below level 2   Levels 5 and above
Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.
OECD average 18.0   0.18   8.4   0.12                  
Shanghai-China 2.9 * 0.39   25.1 * 1.19   Russian Federation 22.3 * 1.29   4.6 * 0.58
Singapore 9.9 * 0.42   21.2 * 0.60   Vietnam 9.4 * 1.43   4.5 * 0.81
Japan 9.8 * 0.92   18.5 * 1.27   Croatia 18.7   1.29   4.4 * 0.69
Hong Kong-China 6.8 * 0.72   16.8 * 1.16   Slovak Republic 28.2 * 1.78   4.4 * 0.68
Korea, Republic of 7.6 * 0.89   14.1 * 1.24   Turkey 21.6 * 1.43   4.3 * 0.85
New Zealand 16.3   0.83   14.0 * 0.77   Bulgaria 39.4 * 2.21   4.3 * 0.64
Finland 11.3 * 0.71   13.5 * 0.64   Latvia 17.0   1.14   4.2 * 0.55
France 18.9   0.98   12.9 * 0.85   Cyprus 32.8 * 0.67   4.0 * 0.32
Canada 10.9 * 0.45   12.9 * 0.62   Lithuania 21.2 * 1.18   3.3 * 0.37
Chinese Taipei 11.5 * 0.87   11.8 * 0.84   Serbia, Republic of 33.1 * 1.66   2.2 * 0.41
Belgium 16.1   0.81   11.8 * 0.60   United Arab Emirates 35.5 * 1.08   2.2 * 0.29
Australia 14.2   0.46   11.7 * 0.54   Qatar 57.1 * 0.42   1.6 * 0.14
Ireland 9.6 * 0.88   11.4 * 0.65   Romania 37.3 * 1.87   1.6 * 0.38
Liechtenstein 12.4   1.88   10.9   2.89   Albania 52.3 * 1.28   1.2 * 0.25
Norway 16.2   1.03   10.2 * 0.74   Montenegro, Republic of 43.3 * 0.75   1.0 * 0.19
Poland 10.6 * 0.80   10.0   0.93   Uruguay 47.0 * 1.42   0.9 * 0.27
Netherlands 14.0   1.23   9.8   0.82   Thailand 33.0 * 1.40   0.8 * 0.22
Israel 23.6 * 1.64   9.6   0.84   Chile 33.0 * 1.67   0.6 * 0.10
Switzerland 13.7 * 0.76   9.1   0.68   Costa Rica 32.4 * 1.81   0.6 !* 0.19
Germany 14.5   0.91   8.9   0.70   Argentina 53.6 * 1.73   0.5 * 0.14
Luxembourg 22.2 * 0.74   8.9   0.39   Brazil 49.2 * 1.13   0.5 * 0.12
United Kingdom 16.6   1.30   8.8   0.74   Peru 59.9 * 1.95   0.5 !* 0.21
Estonia 9.1 * 0.65   8.3   0.72   Mexico 41.1 * 0.90   0.4 * 0.09
United States 16.6   1.26   7.9   0.67   Colombia 51.4 * 1.78   0.3 !* 0.13
Sweden 22.7 * 1.15   7.9   0.64   Tunisia 49.3 * 2.24    
Macao-China 11.5 * 0.42   7.0   0.41   Jordan 50.7 * 1.57    
Italy 19.5 * 0.67   6.7   0.35   Malaysia 52.7 * 1.71    
Czech Republic 16.9   1.21   6.1 * 0.55   Indonesia 55.2 * 2.18    
Iceland 21.0 * 0.72   5.8 * 0.51   Kazakhstan 57.1 * 1.56    
Portugal 18.8   1.42   5.8 * 0.61                  
Hungary 19.7   1.22   5.6 * 0.75                  
Spain 18.3   0.76   5.5 * 0.30   U.S. state education systems              
Austria 19.5   1.07   5.5 * 0.61                
Denmark 14.6   1.07   5.4 * 0.62   Massachusetts 11.5 * 1.37   16.1 * 1.98
Greece 22.6 * 1.24   5.1 * 0.61   Connecticut 13.2   1.76   14.5 * 1.68
Slovenia 21.1 * 0.68   5.0 * 0.43   Florida 17.5   2.00   5.5 * 1.02
† Not applicable.
! Interpret data with caution. Estimate is unstable due to high coefficient of variation.
# Rounds to zero.
‡ Reporting standards not met.
* p<.05. Significantly different from the U.S. percentage at the .05 level of statistical significance.
NOTE: Education systems are ordered by 2012 percentages of 15-year-olds in levels 5 and above. To reach a particular proficiency level, a student must correctly answer a majority of items at that level. Students were classified into reading proficiency 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. Italics indicate non-OECD countries and education systems. Results for Connecticut, Florida, and Massachusetts are for public school students only. This table corresponds to figure 3 in Performance of U.S. 15-Year-Old Students in Mathematics, Science, and Reading Literacy in an International Context (NCES 2014-024).
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
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