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Sample Assessment Questions

The items below are examples of questions 15-year-olds were asked to answer for PISA. When you click an item in one of the four subject categories, you will see the item image and links to the item questions. Click on these links and a new window will open with a question, its answer, and the percent of students in the United States and other OECD countries who answered correctly.

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Question 1 and Answer (Level 1)   |   Question 2 and Answer (Level 1)   |   Question 3 and Answer (Level 1)
Runners image

For 14 years the Sports Medicine Center of Lyon (France) has been studying the injuries of young sports players and sports professionals. The study has established that the best course is prevention...and good shoes.Knocks, falls, wear and tear...

Eighteen per cent of sports players aged 8 to 12 already have heel injuries. The cartilage of a soccer player's ankle does not respond well to shocks, and 25% of professionals have discovered for themselves that it is an especially weak point. The cartilage of the delicate knee joint can also be irreparably damaged and if care is not taken right from childhood (10-12 years of age), this can cause premature osteoarthritis. The hip does not escape damage either and, particularly when tired, players run the risk of fractures as a result of falls or collisions.

According to the study, soccer players who have been playing for more than ten years have bony outgrowths either on the tibia or on the heel. This is what is known as "soccer player's foot", a deformity caused by shoes with soles and ankle parts that are too flexible.

Protect, support, stabilize, absorb

If a shoe is too rigid, it restricts movement. If it is too flexible, it increases the risk of injuries and sprains. A good sports shoe should meet four criteria:

Firstly, it must provide exterior protection: resisting knocks from the ball or another player, coping with unevenness in the ground, and keeping the foot warm and dry even when it is freezing cold and raining.

It must support the foot, and in particular the ankle joint, to avoid sprains, swelling and other problems, which may even affect the knee.

It must also provide players with good stability so that they do not slip on a wet ground or skid on a surface that is too dry.

Finally, it must absorb shocks, especially those suffered by volleyball and basketball players who are constantly jumping.

Dry feet

To avoid minor but painful conditions such as blisters or even splits or athlete's foot (fungal infections), the shoe must allow evaporation of perspiration and must prevent outside dampness from getting in. The ideal material for this is leather, which can be water-proofed to prevent the shoe from getting soaked the first time it rains.

PISA's definition of literacy

For more sample questions from the PISA assessments view this OECD publication:
Take the Test: Sample Questions from OECD's PISA Assessments