Skip Navigation

Data Files

The PISA data collected from each cycle are found in an international database and a U.S. national database. The international database contains all information collected through the international PISA instruments. The national database contains additional variables that are unique to the United States, such as student's race and ethnicity. Both the international and national databases come with documentation and example programs for reading in data and conducting analyses. These resources are listed below.

International Data Files and Data Resources
The international PISA database for each data collection cycle can be found under the "What PISA Produces" section of the international PISA website. Resources available include:

PISA international database
SAS control files
SPSS control files
International codebooks and data compendia
Data User's Guide
Released items

In addition, the international PISA website lists publications that may be of use to data users, including

PISA Data Analysis Manual (SPSS or SAS)
PISA Technical Report
PISA reports

A version of the IDB Analyzer for PISA is available at

U.S. Data Files and Data Resources
The U.S. national PISA database for the 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2018 administrations of PISA can be found under the "Data Products" section of the NCES PISA website. The U.S. database includes public-use data files with both international variables and U.S specific variables from the years 2000 to 2015. From 2018 onwards, U.S. data files only contain U.S. specific variables and variables to be used for merging with datasets containing all international variables available at the PISA OECD website. For some data collection cycles, a U.S. restricted-use database is also available. Restricted-use data files contain more detailed information than the public-use data files. Resources available include:

U.S. PISA database
SAS control files
SPSS control files
U.S. versions of the international questionnaires
Data User's Guide

In the 2012 and 2015 cycles, several U.S. states and territories—Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Puerto Rico—participated in PISA. PISA data collected for these subnational education systems are available in the International Data Explorer ( and are also available from NCES as restricted-use data files (see under "Data Products" under

Why are state PISA data considered restricted-use? NCES is committed to both providing the public and researchers with data and statistics on the educational performance of U.S. students. This commitment to transparency and public availability of information are core components of NCES's mission. At the same time, NCES is responsible for protecting the confidentiality of individually identifiable information about the students contained in the PISA state data files, which includes information about students (e.g., gender, birth month and year, parents' occupation, parents' education level), demographic and socio-economic background, responses to questions about school and out of school experiences, each student's response to survey and test questions, as well as information about students' performance on PISA. NCES must balance the interests of both transparency and confidentiality. Because of changed circumstances on the public availability of information on the schools that participated in PISA, and the increased risks of derivative disclosure of individually identifiable information about students when that information is combined with student and/or school questionnaire data, downloadable state PISA data files (including background questionnaire data) are no longer available to the general public, but only as restricted-use data files. NCES restricted-use data license holders may access these files in accordance with NCES confidentiality procedures (find out more here about how to apply for a license:


International Data Explorer
You can explore the PISA data directly through NCES's online data tool — the International Data Explorer (IDE)