Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)
National Project Manager
Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)
Private Bag 55
Camberwell, VIC, 3124
Telephone (03) 9277 5555
Facsimile (03) 9277 5500
The PISA is an initiative of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which assesses 15 year old school students' achievement in literacy. It is a collaborative effort from member countries of the OECD. It measures how well young adults, at age 15 and therefore approaching the end of compulsory schooling, are prepared to meet the challenges of today's knowledge societies. PISA allows comparison between countries and over time of the reading literacy, mathematical literacy and scientific literacy, of 15-year-olds. PISA is conducted every three years and each year focuses on a different type of literacy for instance PISA 2000 focused on reading literacy, the focus will shift to mathematics in 2003 and science in 2006 then back to reading in 2009. The survey assesses levels of literacy and young people's ability to use their knowledge and skills in order to meet real-life challenges. The emphasis is placed on the mastery of processes, the understanding of concepts, and the ability to function in various situations within each domain.
The scope of the PISA survey is a sample of 15 -year-olds enrolled in schools in Australia (and 44 other countries). National random samples of 6200 15 -year-old students were chosen from 231 schools in Australia in 2000.
ACER OECD 2001, 15-Up and Counting, Reading, Writing, Reasoning .... How Literate are Australia's Students, ACER Melbourne, VIC.
ACER OECD 2001, Highlights from the full Australian report - 15-Up and Counting, Reading, Writing, Reasoning .... How Literate are Australia's Students, ACER Melbourne, VIC.
OECD 2001, Knowledge and Skills for Life - First Results from PISA 2000, OECD Publications, Paris.
OECD 2000, Measuring Student Knowledge and Skills - The PISA 2000 Assessment of Reading, Mathematical and Scientific Literacy, OECD Publications, Paris.
OECD 1999, Measuring Student Knowledge and Skills - A New Framework for Assessment, OECD Publications, Paris.
OECD 2002, Sample Tasks from the PISA 2000 Assessment: Reading, Mathematical and Scientific Literacy, OECD Publications, Paris.
For customised data go to the PISA DATA Service or the Multi-dimensional Data Request on the PISA 2000 database which can be accessed on the OECD website: www.pisa.oecd.org. Selected data tables with summary results and the full micro-level database for PISA are also available from the PISA 2000 database.
The first results from PISA 2000 were published in 2001.
Student Characteristics and Family Background
Number of siblings
Country of birth
Language spoken at home
International Socio-Economic Index of Occupational Status
Parents' years of schooling
PISA index of cultural communication
PISA index of social communication
Participation in additional courses
PISA index of activities related to classical culture
PISA index of family wealth
PISA index of home educational resources
PISA index of possessions related to classical culture in the family home
Learning Strategies and Attitudes
PISA index of engagement in reading
PISA index of interest in reading
PISA index of interest in mathematics
PISA index of control strategies
PISA index of memorisation strategies
PISA index of elaboration strategies
PISA index of co-operative learning
PISA index of competitive learning
PISA index of self-concept in reading
PISA index of self-concept in mathematics
PISA index of interest in computers
PISA index of comfort with and perceived ability to use computers
PISA index of time spent on homework
School Policies and Practices
PISA index of the use of formal assessments
PISA index of the use of informal assessments
PISA index of school autonomy
PISA index of teacher autonomy
Staff professional development
School principals' perceptions of teacher-related factors affecting school climate
School principals' perceptions of teachers' morale and commitment
PISA index of the teacher shortage
PISA index of teacher support
PISA index of disciplinary climate
PISA index of principals' perceptions of student-related factors affecting school climate
PISA index of achievement pressure
PISA index of teacher-student relations
School Resources and Type of School
PISA index of the quality of the schools' physical infrastructure
PISA index of the quality of the schools' educational resources
PISA index of the availability of computers
Student-teaching staff ratio
PISA index of the use of school resources
PISA index of hours of schooling per year
Information is available for OECD countries including Australia. Some data items are available at the national level and others at the state/territory level.
METHOD OF COLLECTION
The PISA survey uses written tasks answered in schools under independently supervised test conditions. In 2000 PISA used pencil and paper assessments, lasting 2 hours for each student. It included both multiple-choice items and questions requiring students to construct their own answers. Students also had to answer a background questionnaire which covered scales to measure their attitudes (30 minutes). In addition, school principals completed a questionnaire about the school. In Australia the Australian Council for Educational Research has taken implementation responsibility for the survey.
TIMING OF COLLECTION
In 2000 data were gathered between mid-July and the end of August.
Frequency of Collection
Every three years, from 2000. (Please note each year has a different type of literacy focus, 2000: reading, 2003: mathematical, 2006: scientific, 2009: reading again).
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