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What PISA Results Mean For American Students


What do the PISA results mean for American students? PISA results for the United States are out, and they are not promising. Released last month, the results show an ongoing decline in math and reading scores for American students.

What is PISA?

The Program for Student Assessment (PISA) is an international test organized by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The test measures 15-year-old students’ abilities in reading, mathematics and science. The first PISA test was given in 2000 and repeated every three years since. The most recent exam was in 2022. In 2022, 81 countries participated, with 4,552 American students in 154 schools completing the assessment in mathematics, reading or science.

The exam is meant to look at education on a global scale and improve education policies at the national level. Using the results helps countries track their students’ performance over time to view trends.

American PISA Results 2022 At-A-Glance

How did American students perform on the PISA exams?

PISA results in the United States, the overall scores declined as follows:

  • Math scores by 13 points
  • Reading scores: 1 point
  • Science scores: 3 points

The most notable plunge is in math, with scores falling below levels from as far back as 2012. The US ranked 28th among OECD states, with a below-average math score of 465 compared to 480.

Given that the pandemic occurred between the last exam in 2018 and the current 2022 exam, the decline is not that surprising. However, pandemic learning loss alone is not to blame for an overall trend that sees a decline in student performance. The OECD report points out that science and reading scores were already declining before the pandemic. Additionally, a few countries such as Belgium, Finland, and France and Canada already had a math downward trend.

America Not Alone

Other countries also saw performance decline in math, reading and science:

Across all participating countries:

  • the average math score fell by about 15 points since the 2018 tests.
  • the average reading score fell by about 10 points since the 2018 tests.
  • the average science score remained relatively stable.

While overall student performance declines, America as a nation performs well, scoring 465 in math; 504 in reading; 499 in science.

A personalized tutoring program is a proven way to help students become better than the statistics and beat the performance odds, bringing their personal baseline for performance up.

Customized math and reading programs help students identify the areas in need of the most attention and help students build strong skills to help them perform at their best, both in school and on international exams.

Contact a GradePower Learning near you to learn more about our customized programs.

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