Skip Navigation
small NCES header image

Reading Literacy: Percentiles


Percentile Scores

Excel File Excel Download

Table R3. Cut scores of 15-year-old students on PISA reading literacy scale at selected percentiles and percentile cut score gaps, by education system: 2012
Education system Percentile
10th   25th   50th   75th   90th   90th to 10th
Cut score s.e.   Cut score s.e.   Cut score s.e.   Cut score s.e.   Cut score s.e.   Cut score gap s.e.
OECD average 372 0.9   435 0.7   502 0.6   563 0.5   613 0.6   242   1.1
Vietnam 411 8.2   462 5.4   512 4.1   559 3.9   599 5.0   189 Cut score gap is smaller than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 9.6
Kazakhstan 297 4.4   344 3.1   394 3.1   444 3.4   487 3.5   189 Cut score gap is smaller than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 5.7
Costa Rica 344 5.4   391 4.3   441 3.8   490 4.2   536 5.0   191 Cut score gap is smaller than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 7.4
Indonesia 299 6.1   346 4.7   397 4.4   447 4.6   492 6.1   193 Cut score gap is smaller than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 8.6
Thailand 341 4.4   389 3.5   442 3.4   494 3.7   541 4.4   201 Cut score gap is smaller than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 6.3
Chile 339 4.2   388 3.8   443 3.3   496 3.3   541 3.3   202 Cut score gap is smaller than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 5.3
Shanghai-China 463 4.6   518 3.6   576 2.9   626 2.8   667 3.5   204 Cut score gap is smaller than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 5.8
Mexico 319 2.5   370 1.9   425 1.8   479 1.8   525 1.9   206 Cut score gap is smaller than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 3.1
Estonia 412 3.4   463 3.0   519 2.3   571 2.4   618 2.8   206 Cut score gap is smaller than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 4.4
Macao-China 400 2.4   457 1.8   513 1.2   566 1.4   611 1.6   211 Cut score gap is smaller than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 2.9
Colombia 295 5.4   348 4.0   404 3.7   460 3.7   509 4.5   215 Cut score gap is smaller than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 7.0
Malaysia 288 4.4   343 3.7   402 3.6   457 3.9   503 4.3   215 Cut score gap is smaller than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 6.1
Korea, Republic of 424 6.2   483 4.3   543 4.4   596 4.1   640 4.0   216 Cut score gap is smaller than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 7.4
Denmark 385 5.1   442 3.5   501 2.5   555 2.4   602 2.8   216 Cut score gap is smaller than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 5.8
Hong Kong-China 430 5.4   493 4.4   552 3.2   604 3.0   648 3.4   218 Cut score gap is smaller than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 6.4
Brazil 302 2.8   353 2.4   409 2.4   468 2.7   520 3.0   218 Cut score gap is smaller than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 4.1
Latvia 375 5.6   434 3.0   495 2.8   548 2.9   593 2.8   219   6.2
Ireland 410 5.7   469 3.6   526 2.9   582 2.7   631 3.2   221   6.5
Lithuania 363 4.0   419 3.9   482 2.8   538 2.8   585 3.1   222   5.1
Poland 404 4.6   461 3.2   522 3.5   579 3.6   626 4.8   222   6.6
Turkey 365 4.6   417 4.0   475 4.6   534 5.6   588 6.8   223   8.3
Croatia 370 5.1   427 4.4   487 3.6   546 3.8   593 4.9   223   7.1
Czech Republic 378 4.7   434 3.7   496 3.7   554 3.6   604 3.8   226   6.0
Tunisia 286 7.1   346 5.9   409 5.0   466 4.5   515 5.6   229   9.0
Jordan 280 6.4   343 4.5   406 3.4   462 3.2   510 4.6   230   7.9
Romania 322 4.4   375 4.4   437 4.6   501 5.5   555 5.3   232   6.9
Russian Federation 359 4.5   415 4.0   476 3.4   537 3.9   592 4.2   233   6.1
Switzerland 388 3.9   451 3.3   514 2.8   573 2.8   622 3.2   233   5.1
Spain 367 3.6   430 2.6   494 2.2   552 2.1   601 2.3   234   4.3
Chinese Taipei 399 5.2   467 4.4   532 3.3   587 2.8   633 3.6   235   6.3
Canada 403 2.8   464 2.2   528 2.2   587 2.2   638 2.6   235   3.8
United States 378 4.8   436 4.5   500 3.9   561 3.9   614 4.0   235   6.3
Slovenia 362 2.5   420 1.9   484 1.9   548 2.1   598 2.5   237   3.5
Germany 384 4.8   447 3.6   514 3.4   574 3.1   621 3.2   237   5.8
Montenegro, Republic of 301 3.0   360 2.5   423 2.2   487 1.8   540 3.4   238   4.5
Austria 365 5.1   427 3.9   496 3.4   557 3.0   603 2.5   238   5.7
Netherlands 386 6.6   451 5.1   519 4.3   579 3.7   625 3.6   239   7.5
Liechtenstein 391 9.5   452 7.8   518 5.5   584 6.9   630 10.6   239   14.2
Finland 399 4.3   463 3.5   530 3.1   590 2.3   639 2.5   240   5.0
Hungary 363 5.2   427 4.6   494 3.7   555 3.3   603 3.9   240   6.5
Serbia, Republic of 325 5.5   384 4.4   448 4.0   509 4.1   566 4.6   241   7.2
Peru 263 5.1   319 4.7   385 4.7   447 5.2   504 6.4   241   8.2
Portugal 362 6.0   429 4.9   493 4.2   554 3.5   604 3.5   242   6.9
Argentina 274 5.4   332 4.5   399 4.1   462 4.1   516 4.4   243   7.0
United Arab Emirates 316 3.7   376 3.1   445 3.1   508 2.8   562 3.1   246   4.8
United Kingdom 372 7.0   438 4.8   504 3.8   567 3.4   619 3.8   247   8.0
Uruguay 285 5.3   348 4.3   414 3.4   477 3.0   534 4.1   248   6.7
Australia 386 2.4   448 2.2   516 1.8   579 1.9   634 2.3   249   3.3
Japan 409 6.5   475 4.8   545 4.1   607 3.8   658 4.4   249   7.9
Italy 359 2.9   427 2.6   497 2.5   559 2.1   609 2.2   250   3.6
Iceland 352 4.1   422 2.9   490 2.0   551 2.9   602 2.4   250   4.7
Greece 346 6.0   416 4.5   486 3.4   545 3.4   597 3.9   251   7.1
Norway 375 4.8   442 4.0   510 3.4   573 3.4   627 3.9   252   6.2
Belgium 373 4.3   444 3.2   517 2.6   583 2.2   633 2.3   260 Cut score gap is larger than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 4.8
Singapore 408 2.9   475 2.1   548 2.2   614 2.1   668 3.2   260 Cut score gap is larger than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 4.3
Slovak Republic 321 8.4   396 6.8   472 4.5   538 4.1   591 5.2   270 Cut score gap is larger than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 9.9
New Zealand 374 4.9   443 3.2   516 2.9   586 3.1   645 4.0   271 Cut score gap is larger than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 6.3
Sweden 343 5.4   416 4.3   490 3.3   558 3.3   614 4.2   272 Cut score gap is larger than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 6.8
Luxembourg 347 2.7   418 2.4   492 2.2   564 2.2   620 2.3   273 Cut score gap is larger than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 3.6
France 358 5.4   435 4.3   515 2.9   584 3.6   639 3.9   281 Cut score gap is larger than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 6.6
Cyprus 297 3.3   378 2.4   459 2.1   528 2.1   583 2.6   286 Cut score gap is larger than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 4.2
Albania 247 7.2   325 4.8   402 3.4   473 3.2   536 3.4   289 Cut score gap is larger than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 7.9
Qatar 242 2.0   310 1.7   386 1.2   465 1.9   535 2.3   293 Cut score gap is larger than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 3.1
Israel 329 7.5   414 6.8   497 5.4   568 4.5   624 4.5   295 Cut score gap is larger than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 8.7
Bulgaria 275 8.0   353 8.2   443 7.2   523 6.0   585 6.1   310 Cut score gap is larger than the U.S. percentile cut score gap 10.0
                                     
U.S. state education systems                                    
Florida 377 7.2   433 7.1   496 6.6   555 7.0   602 7.4   225   10.4
Massachusetts 399 7.7   464 7.1   529 7.2   595 7.7   652 7.3   253   10.7
Connecticut 388 9.6   456 7.5   526 6.2   590 6.0   645 7.3   257   12.1
Cut score gap is larger than the U.S. percentile cut score gap Cut score gap is larger than the U.S. percentile cut score gap.
Cut score gap is smaller than the U.S. percentile cut score gap Cut score gap is smaller than the U.S. percentile cut score gap.
NOTE: This table shows the threshold (or cut) scores for the following: (a) 10th percentile- the bottom 10 percent of students; (b) 25th percentile- the bottom 25 percent of students; (c) 50th percentile- the median (half the students scored below the cut score and half scored above it); (d) 75th percentile- the top 25 percent of students; (e) 90th percentile- the top 10 percent of students. The percentile ranges are specific to each education system's distribution of scores, enabling users to compare cut scores across education systems. Education systems are ordered by cut score gap. The OECD average is the average of the national averages of the OECD member countries, with each country weighted equally. Scores are reported on a scale from 0 to 1,000. 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.
SOURCE: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), 2012.

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