PISA 2022 Mathematics Literacy Results

Explore How U.S. Mathematics Performance Compared Internationally in 2022

Mathematics literacy was the major domain As the major domain, a greater proportion of the assessment is devoted to the subject area, including newly developed items, allowing for more detailed analyses of student performance in the subject. In addition, most items in the background questionnaires for students and schools focus on some aspect of the major domain subject, such as how it is taught, school resources related to the teaching of the subject, or students' levels of engagement with the subject.in PISA 2022 as it was in 2003 and 2012. For 2022, the PISA mathematics literacy framework was updated to reflect mathematics in a rapidly changing world driven by new technologies and trends in which citizens are creative and engaged, making nonroutine judgments for themselves and the society in which they live. This brings into focus students' ability to reason mathematically and to understand computational thinking concepts that are part of mathematical literacy.

In PISA, the assessment of mathematics literacy focuses on students' capacity to formulate, use, and interpret mathematics in a variety of contexts. Proficiency in mathematics is more than the ability to reproduce the knowledge of mathematical concepts and procedures; it is conceptualized as students' ability to extrapolate from what they know and apply their knowledge in both familiar and unfamiliar situations.

In PISA 2022, mathematics literacy is defined as students' capacity to formulate, employ, and interpret mathematics in a variety of contexts. It includes reasoning mathematically and using mathematical concepts, procedures, facts, and tools to describe, explain, and predict phenomena.

To take better advantage of the administration of PISA on computer and to improve the measurement of the subject, the PISA 2022 assessment of mathematics literacy included multi-stage adaptive testing for the first time. Instead of using fixed, predetermined test booklets, as in previous cycles, the PISA 2022 mathematics assessment was dynamically determined, based on how a student performed in prior stages. Read more about the multi-stage adaptive testing design used in PISA.

How does the performance of U.S. 15-year-olds in mathematics compare internationally?

Compared to the 80 other education systems in PISA 2022, the U.S. average mathematics literacy score was lower than the average in 25 education systems, higher than the average in 43 education systems, and not significantly different from the average in 12 education systems.

  • The U.S. average score (465) was not significantly different from the OECD average score (472).
  • Compared to the 36 other participating OECD members, the U.S. average in mathematics literacy was lower than the average in 21 education systems, higher than in 6, and not significantly different from 9.
  • On a scale of 0 to 1,000, average scores in mathematics literacy across the education systems ranged from 336 in Cambodia to 575 in Singapore.

Click on the column headers below to sort data by education system, average score, or difference from the U.S. average score. The default display shows education systems ordered by the 2022 average score from largest to smallest. When a user selects customized ordering, footnotes and special symbol notes will be retained as they were in the default view.

Table M1. Average scores and difference from U.S. average score of 15-year-old students on the PISA mathematics literacy scale, by education system: 2022

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Education system Average score Difference from U.S. average score
Education system Average score Difference from U.S. average score

Average score is higher than U.S. average score at the .05 level of statistical significance.

Average score is lower than U.S. average score at the .05 level of statistical significance.

Average score is not significantly different from U.S. average score at the .05 level of statistical significance.

! Interpret data with caution. Estimate is unstable because the standard error is between 30 and 50 percent of the estimate.

!! Interpret data with caution. Estimate is unstable because the standard error represents more than 50 percent of the estimate.

At least 50 percent but less than 75 percent of the 15-year-old population is covered by the PISA sample.

Less than 50 percent of the 15-year-old population is covered by the PISA sample.

NOTE: Scores are reported on a scale from 0 to 1,000. Differences were computed using unrounded numbers. The default graphic or table view shows education systems ordered by their average scores in 2022. The ordering of notes and special symbols in the NOTE section follows the order shown in the default graphic/table view. Education systems are marked as OECD countries if they were OECD members in 2022. All OECD members except for Luxembourg participated in the PISA 2022 cycle. The OECD average is the average of the national averages of the participating OECD member countries, with each country weighted equally. Italics indicate non-OECD countries and education systems. Some apparent differences between estimates may not be statistically significant.

SOURCE: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), 2022.

See details for this data and perform your own analyses in the PISA Data Explorer.

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What is the percentage of 15-year-olds reaching the selected PISA proficiency levels in mathematics?

In addition to scale scores, PISA describes student performance in each subject area in terms of levels of proficiency, from the lowest level (Level 1c) to the highest (Level 6). Students were classified into proficiency levels based on their scores. Read more about the skills and knowledge of students at each mathematics literacy proficiency level. To reach a particular proficiency level, a student must correctly answer a majority of items at that level. Students were classified into mathematics proficiency levels according to their scores. Exact cut scoresThe minimum score required for performance at each PISA proficiency level. A cut score is a specified point on a score scale, such that scores at or above that point are interpreted or acted upon differently from scores below that point. PISA cut scores are determined through a standard-setting process that convenes subject-area expert groups and the PISA test developers. are as follows: Below Level 2 is a score less than 420.07; Levels 5 and above is a score equal to or greater than 606.99. See Technical Notes for details.

In the United States, 7 percent of 15-year-old students in 2022 were top performers in mathematics literacy, scoring at proficiency levels 5 and above; 34 percent of students were low performers in mathematics literacy, scoring below proficiency level 2.

  • In the United States, the percentage of top performers in mathematical literacy (7 percent) was not significantly different from the OECD average (9 percent). Compared to 70 other reportable education systems, the U.S. percentage was larger than in 33 reportable education systems, smaller than in 18 education systems, and not significantly different from 19 education systems. The percentages of top-performing 15-year-old students in mathematics literacy ranged from 41 percent in Singapore to nearly 0 percent in 10 education systems. Estimates are not reportable for 10 education systems because reporting standards were not met.
  • In the United States, the percentage of low performers in mathematics literacy (34 percent) was not significantly different from the OECD average (31 percent). The U.S. percentage was larger than in 31 education systems, smaller than in 43 education systems, and not significantly different from 6 education systems. The percentages of low-performing 15-year-old students in mathematics literacy ranged from 8 percent in Macau (China) and Singapore to 92 percent in the Dominican Republic.

Click on the column headers below to sort data by education system or different proficiency levels. The default display shows education systems ordered by the percentages of 15-year-olds in levels 5 and above. When a user selects customized ordering, footnotes and special symbol notes will be retained as they were in the default view.

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Figure M2. Percentage of 15-year-old students performing below level 2 or reaching mathematics literacy proficiency levels 5 and above, by education system: 2022
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# Rounds to zero.

! Interpret data with caution. Estimate is unstable because the standard error is between 30 and 50 percent of the estimate.

!! Interpret data with caution. Estimate is unstable because the standard error is more than 50 percent of the estimate.

‡ Reporting standards not met.

* Significantly different (p < .05) from the U.S. percentage at the .05 level of statistical significance.

At least 50 percent but less than 75 percent of the 15-year-old population is covered by the PISA sample.

Less than 50 percent of the 15-year-old population is covered by the PISA sample.

NOTE: The default graphic or table view shows education systems ordered by the percentages of 15-year-olds in levels 5 and above in 2022. The ordering of notes and special symbols in the NOTE section follows the order shown in the default graphic/table view. Education systems are marked as OECD countries if they were OECD members in 2022. All OECD members except for Luxembourg participated in the PISA 2022 cycle. The OECD average is the average of the national averages of the participating OECD member countries, with each country weighted equally. Italics indicate non-OECD countries and education systems. Some apparent differences between estimates may not be statistically significant. Students were classified into mathematics proficiency levels according to their scores. Exact cut scores are as follows: Below Level 2 is a score less than 420.07; Levels 5 and above is a score equal to or greater than 606.99.

SOURCE: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), 2022.

See details for this data and perform your own analyses in the PISA Data Explorer.

Table M2. Percentage of 15-year-old students performing at selected mathematics literacy proficiency levels, by education system: 2022

Filter by:

Education system Below level 2 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Levels 5
and above
commodi distinctio 422 21 332 17 22

# Rounds to zero.

! Interpret data with caution. Estimate is unstable because the standard error is between 30 and 50 percent of the estimate.

!! Interpret data with caution. Estimate is unstable because the standard error is more than 50 percent of the estimate.

‡ Reporting standards not met

* Significantly different (p < .05) from the U.S. percentage at the .05 level of statistical significance.

At least 50 percent but less than 75 percent of the 15-year-old population is covered by the PISA sample.

Less than 50 percent of the 15-year-old population is covered by the PISA sample.

NOTE: The default graphic or table view shows education systems ordered by the percentages of 15-year-olds in levels 5 and above in 2022. The ordering of notes and special symbols in the NOTE section follows the order shown in the default graphic/table view. Education systems are marked as OECD countries if they were OECD members in 2022. All OECD members except for Luxembourg participated in the PISA 2022 cycle. The OECD average is the average of the national averages of the participating OECD member countries, with each country weighted equally. Italics indicate non-OECD countries and education systems. Some apparent differences between estimates may not be statistically significant. Students were classified into mathematics proficiency levels according to their scores. Exact cut scores are as follows: Below Level 2 is a score less than 420.07; Levels 5 and above is a score equal to or greater than 606.99.

SOURCE: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), 2022.

See details for this data and perform your own analyses in the PISA Data Explorer.

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How large is the gap in mathematics performance between top and bottom performers?

Score gaps between top and bottom performers provide one indication of equity within an education system. In 2022, the distribution of U.S. student scores in mathematics literacy showed a score gap of 246 points between the 90th and 10th percentiles.

  • The U.S. score gap between the 90th and 10th percentiles (246 points) was not significantly different from the score gap across the participating OECD countries on average (235 points).
  • The U.S. score gap was smaller than the gap in 7 education systems, larger than the gap in 43 and not significantly different compared to 30 education systems.
  • Internationally, score gaps between the 90th and 10th percentiles ranged from 137 points in the Dominican Republic to 294 points in Chinese Taipei.

The figure below shows the threshold (or cut) scores for students at the 10th percentile (the bottom 10 percent of students) and at the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of students). The score gap for each education system is the difference between its 90th and 10th percentile scores. The percentile ranges are specific to each education system's distribution of scores and scores can be compared across education systems.

Click on the column headers below to sort data by education system or by the 90th–10th score gap. The default display shows education systems ordered by the 2022 90th–10th score gap from largest to smallest. When a user selects customized ordering, footnotes and special symbol notes will be retained as they were in the default view.

Display as: |

Figure M3. Average scores and 10th and 90th percentile scores of 15-year-old students on the PISA mathematics literacy scale and percentile score gaps, by education system: 2022
KEY: 10th Percentile Average Score 90th Percentile

* Score gap is significantly different (p < .05) from the U.S. 90th to 10th percentile score gap at the .05 level of statistical significance.

At least 50 percent but less than 75 percent of the 15-year-old population is covered by the PISA sample.

Less than 50 percent of the 15-year-old population is covered by the PISA sample.

NOTE: Scores are reported on a scale from 0 to 1,000. Differences were computed using unrounded numbers. The default graphic or table view shows education systems ordered by the 90th–10th score gap in 2022. The ordering of notes and special symbols in the NOTE section follows the order shown in the default graphic/table view. Education systems are marked as OECD countries if they were OECD members in 2022. All OECD members except for Luxembourg participated in the PISA 2022 cycle. The OECD average is the average of the national averages of the participating OECD member countries, with each country weighted equally. Italics indicate non-OECD countries and education systems. Some apparent differences between estimates may not be statistically significant. Selected percentiles are defined as: 10th percentile—the bottom 10 percent of students; 90th percentile—the top 10 percent of students.

SOURCE: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), 2022.

See details for this data and perform your own analyses in the PISA Data Explorer.

Table M3. Average scores and 10th and 90th percentile scores of 15-year-old students on the PISA mathematics literacy scale and percentile score gaps, by education system: 2022
Education system 10th percentile score Average score 90th percentile score 90th–10th score gap
Lorem ipsum 370 0.6 489 0.4

* Score gap is significantly different (p < .05) from the U.S. 90th to 10th percentile score gap at the .05 level of statistical significance.

At least 50 percent but less than 75 percent of the 15-year-old population is covered by the PISA sample.

Less than 50 percent of the 15-year-old population is covered by the PISA sample.

NOTE: Scores are reported on a scale from 0 to 1,000. Differences were computed using unrounded numbers. The default graphic or table view shows education systems ordered by the 90th–10th score gap in 2022. The ordering of notes and special symbols in the NOTE section follows the order shown in the default graphic/table view. Education systems are marked as OECD countries if they were OECD members in 2022. All OECD members except for Luxembourg participated in the PISA 2022 cycle. The OECD average is the average of the national averages of the participating OECD member countries, with each country weighted equally. Italics indicate non-OECD countries and education systems. Some apparent differences between estimates may not be statistically significant. Selected percentiles are defined as: 10th percentile—the bottom 10 percent of students; 90th percentile—the top 10 percent of students.

SOURCE: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), 2022.

See details for this data and perform your own analyses in the PISA Data Explorer.

For More Information

Suggested Citation: Highlights of U.S. PISA 2022 Results Web Report (NCES 2023-115). U.S. Department of Education. Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics. Available at https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/pisa/pisa2022/.