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Science Secondary Education

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a triennial international survey which evaluates educations systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year old students. The assessment focuses on the core school subjects of science, reading and mathematics. Results from the PISA can provide insights for education policy and practice. It also helps monitor trends in student’s knowledge and skills across countries and in different demographic subgroups.

Year 12 participation in science and mathematics plays a crucial role in preparing students for future science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers. It also helps to develop higher order thinking skills, and build capacity to inquire and problem solve.

The proportion of Year 12 students in science and mathematics subjects can provide some insights into student participation in mathematics and science and whether uptake is increasing or decreasing.

Mathematics is classified into three groups: entry mathematics, which includes subjects that are not designed to lead to further tertiary study; intermediate mathematics, which includes subjects that provide a knowledge base for tertiary studies involving minimal mathematical understanding; and advanced mathematics for subjects that provide a specialised knowledge base for tertiary studies in engineering and the physical sciences.

Science in classified into five groups: physics, chemistry, biology, earth science and multidisciplinary science.

For further information on STEM, see the Office of the Chief Scientist’s Benchmarking Australian STEM report, and the National STEM School Education Strategy.

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