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Trends in Student Performance: International Trends in Average Scores


Mathematics literacy scale by percentiles

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Table T4. Average scores and changes in average scores of 15-year-old students on the PISA mathematics literacy scale, by education system: 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012, and 2015
Education system Average score   Change in average score
2003   2006   2009   2012   2015   2015-2003   2015-2006   2015-2009   2015-2012
Score s.e.   Score s.e.   Score s.e.   Score s.e.   Score s.e.   Difference s.e.   Difference s.e.   Difference s.e.   Difference s.e.
Singapore     562 1.4   573 1.3   564 1.5               2   4.3   -9 *   4.1
Hong Kong (China) 550 4.5   547 2.7   555 2.7   561 3.2   548 3.0   -2     7.8   #       -7     5.5   -13 *   5.6
Macau (China) 527 2.9   525 1.3   525 0.9   538 1.0   544 1.1   17 * 6.4   19 * 3.9   19 * 4.0   6   3.8
Chinese Taipei   549 4.1   543 3.4   560 3.3   542 3.0         -7     6.2   -1     5.9   -18 *   5.7
Japan 534 4.0   523 3.3   529 3.3   536 3.6   532 3.0   -2     7.5   9     5.7   3     5.9   -4     5.9
B-S-J-G (China)         531 4.9                        
Korea, Republic of 542 3.2   547 3.8   546 4.0   554 4.6   524 3.7   -18 *   7.5   -23 * 6.3   -22 *   6.7   -30 * 6.9
Switzerland 527 3.4   530 3.2   534 3.3   531 3.0   521 2.9   -5     7.2   -8     5.5   -13 *   5.8   -10     5.5
Estonia   515 2.7   512 2.6   521 2.0   520 2.0         5     4.9   7   5.0   -1     4.6
Canada 532 1.8   527 2.0   527 1.6   518 1.8   516 2.3   -17 *   6.3   -11 *   4.6   -11 *   4.7   -2     4.6
Netherlands 538 3.1   531 2.6   526 4.7   523 3.5   512 2.2   -26 *   6.8   -18 *   4.9   -14 *   6.5   -11 *   5.4
Denmark 514 2.7   513 2.6   503 2.6   500 2.3   511 2.2   -3     6.6   -2     4.9   8   5.1   11 * 4.8
Finland 544 1.9   548 2.3   541 2.2   519 1.9   511 2.3   -33 * 6.3   -37 * 4.8   -29 *   4.9   -8     4.7
Slovenia   504 1.0   501 1.2   501 1.2   510 1.3         5     3.9   8 *   4.2   9 * 4.0
Belgium 529 2.3   520 3.0   515 2.3   515 2.1   507 2.4   -22 *   6.5   -13 *   5.2   -8     5.0   -8     4.8
Germany 503 3.3   504 3.9   513 2.9   514 2.9   506 2.9   3     7.1   2     6.0   -7     5.6   -8     5.4
Poland 490 2.5   495 2.4   495 2.8   518 3.6   504 2.4   14 * 6.6   9     4.9   10   5.3   -13 *   5.6
Ireland 503 2.4   501 2.8   487 2.5   501 2.2   504 2.1   1     6.5   2     4.9   17 * 5.0   2     4.7
Norway 495 2.4   490 2.6   498 2.4   489 2.7   502 2.2   7   6.5   12 * 4.9   4   5.0   12 * 5.0
Austria 506 3.3   505 3.7     506 2.7   497 2.9   -9     7.1   -9     5.9         -9     5.3
New Zealand 523 2.3   522 2.4   519 2.3   500 2.2   495 2.3   -28 *   6.5   -27 *   4.8   -24 *   5.0   -5     4.8
Vietnam       511 4.8   495 4.5                     -17 *   7.5
Russian Federation 468 4.2   476 3.9   468 3.3   482 3.0   494 3.1   26 * 7.7   18 * 6.1   26 * 5.9   12 * 5.6
Sweden 509 2.6   502 2.4   494 2.9   478 2.3   494 3.2   -15 *   6.9   -8     5.3   #     16 * 5.3
Australia 524 2.1   520 2.2   514 2.5   504 1.6   494 1.6   -30 *   6.2   -26 * 4.5   -20 *   4.8   -10 *   4.2
France 511 2.5   496 3.2   497 3.1   495 2.5   493 2.1   -18 *   6.5   -3     5.2   -4     5.3   -2     4.8
United Kingdom2   495 2.1   492 2.4   494 3.3   492 2.5         -3     4.8   #     -1     5.4
Czech Republic 516 3.5   510 3.6   493 2.8   499 2.9   492 2.4   -24 *   7.1   -18 *   5.5   #     -7     5.1
Portugal 466 3.4   466 3.1   487 2.9   487 3.8   492 2.5   26 * 7.0   25 * 5.3   5   5.4   5   5.8
Italy 466 3.1   462 2.3   483 1.9   485 2.0   490 2.8   24 * 7.0   28 * 5.1   7   5.1   4   5.0
Iceland 515 1.4   506 1.8   507 1.4   493 1.7   488 2.0   -27 *   6.1   -18 *   4.4   -19 *   4.5   -5     4.4
Spain 485 2.4   480 2.3   483 2.1   484 1.9   486 2.2   1     6.5   6     4.7   2   4.8   2     4.6
Luxembourg 493 1.0   490 1.1   489 1.2   490 1.1   486 1.3   -7     5.8   -4     3.9   -3   4.2   -4     3.9
Latvia 483 3.7   486 3.0   482 3.1   491 2.8   482 1.9   -1     7.0   -4     5.0   #     -8     4.9
Malta     463 1.4     479 1.7               16 * 4.4      
Lithuania   486 2.9   477 2.6   479 2.6   478 2.3         -8     5.1   2   5.2   #    
Hungary 490 2.8   491 2.9   490 3.5   477 3.2   477 2.5   -13     6.8   -14 *   5.2   -13 *   5.7   #    
Slovak Republic   492 2.8   497 3.1   482 3.4   475 2.7         -17 *   5.2   -21 *   5.6   -6     5.6
Israel   442 4.3   447 3.3   466 4.7   470 3.6         28 * 6.7   23 * 6.2   3     6.9
United States 483 2.9   474 4.0   487 3.6   481 3.6   470 3.2   -13     7.1   -5     6.2   -18 *   6.1   -12 *   6.0
Croatia   467 2.4   460 3.1   471 3.5   464 2.8         -3     5.1   4   5.6   -7     5.7
Buenos Aires (Argentina)       418 7.3   456 6.9                     38 * 10.7
Greece 445 3.9   459 3.0   466 3.9   453 2.5   454 3.8   9   7.8   -6     5.9   -12     6.6   1     5.7
Romania   415 4.2   427 3.4   445 3.8   444 3.8         29 * 6.7   17 * 6.3   -1     6.4
Bulgaria   413 6.1   428 5.9   439 4.0   441 4.0         28 * 8.1   13   8.0   2     6.6
Cyprus       440 1.1   437 1.7                     -3     4.1
United Arab Emirates       434 2.4   427 2.4                     -7     4.9
Chile   411 4.6   421 3.1   423 3.1   423 2.5         11     6.3   2   5.5   #    
Turkey 423 6.7   424 4.9   445 4.4   448 4.8   420 4.1   -3     9.7   -3     7.3   -25 *   7.1   -28 *   7.3
Moldova, Republic of     397 3.1     420 2.5               22 * 5.5      
Uruguay 422 3.3   427 2.6   427 2.6   409 2.8   418 2.5   -4     7.0   -9     5.0   -9     5.2   9   5.1
Montenegro, Republic of3   399 1.4   403 2.0   410 1.1   418 1.5         19 * 4.0   15 * 4.5   8 * 4.0
Trinidad and Tobago     414 1.3     417 1.4               3   4.2      
Thailand 417 3.0   417 2.3   419 3.2   427 3.4   415 3.0   -2     7.0   -2     5.2   -3     5.8   -11     5.8
Albania     377 4.0   394 2.0   413 3.4               36 * 6.5   19 * 5.3
Mexico 385 3.6   406 2.9   419 1.8   413 1.4   408 2.2   23 * 7.1   2     5.1   -10 *   4.8   -5     4.4
Georgia     379 2.8     404 2.8               24 *   5.5      
Qatar   318 1.0   368 0.7   376 0.8   402 1.3         84 * 3.9   34 * 4.1   26 * 3.8
Costa Rica4     409 3.0   407 3.0   400 2.5               -9     5.4   -7     5.3
Lebanon         396 3.7                        
Colombia   370 3.8   381 3.2   376 2.9   390 2.3         20 * 5.6   9   5.5   13 * 5.1
Peru     365 4.0   368 3.7   387 2.7               21 * 6.1   18 * 5.8
Indonesia 360 3.9   391 5.6   371 3.7   375 4.0   386 3.1   26 * 7.5   -5     7.3   15 * 6.1   11   6.2
Jordan   384 3.3   387 3.7   386 3.1   380 2.7         -4     5.5   -6     5.9   -5     5.4
Brazil 356 4.8   370 2.9   386 2.4   389 1.9   377 2.9   21 * 7.9   8     5.4   -9     5.3   -11 *   5.0
Macedonia, Republic of         371 1.3                        
Tunisia 359 2.5   365 4.0   371 3.0   388 3.9   367 3.0   8   6.8       6.1   -5     5.7   -21 *   6.1
Kosovo         362 1.6                        
Algeria         360 3.0                        
Dominican Republic         328 2.7                        
                                                                     
U.S. states and territories                                                                    
Massachusetts       514 6.2   500 5.5                     -13     9.1
● Change in average score is significantly different than the change in the U.S. average score at the .05 level of significance.
— Not available.
† Not applicable.
# Rounds to zero.
* p<.05. Change in average score is significant at the .05 level of statistical significance.
1The OECD trend scores are based on the averages of the 29 OECD countries with comparable data for 2003 and 2015 and with each country weighted equally. The five current OECD members not included in the OECD averages used to report on trends in mathematics literacy include Chile, Estonia, Israel, and Slovenia, which did not participate in 2003; and the United Kingdom, which did not meet PISA response-rate standards for the 2003 assessment. The OECD excluded the data for Austria from the trend analysis in its report (OECD, PISA 2009 Results: Learning Trends - Changes in Student Performance Since 2000 (Volume V), available at http://www.pisa.oecd.org because of a concern over a data collection issue in 2009; however, after consultation with Austrian officials, NCES kept the Austrian data in the U.S. trend reporting.
2 Because of low response rates, 2003 data for the United Kingdom are not presented.
3 The Republics of Montenegro and Serbia were a united country under the PISA 2003 assessment.
4 For Costa Rica the change between PISA 2009 and PISA 2015 represents change between 2010 and 2015 because it implemented the PISA 2009 assessment one year later, in 2010.
NOTE: Education systems are ordered by 2015 average score. The PISA mathematics framework was revised in 2003. Because of changes in the framework, it is not possible to compare mathematics learning outcomes from PISA 2000 with those from PISA 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012, and 2015. 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. B-S-J-G (China) refers to the four PISA participating China provinces: Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Guangdong. Although Argentina, Malaysia, and Kazakhstan participated in PISA 2015, technical problems with their samples prevent results from being discussed in this report.
SOURCE: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012, and 2015.