The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests 15-year-old students from around the world every 3 years. Students are tested in science, mathematics and reading.
Australian girls consistently achieved lower PISA mean scores in mathematics compared to Australian boys between 2006 and 2018. In 2018, the gap between girls’ and boy’s mean scores was 6 points.
While Australian girls consistently outperformed the OECD average for girls in mathematics over this period, their mean score declined. This narrowed the gap between Australian girls’ and the average OECD girls’ mean score in mathematics to less than 2 points in 2018.
Australian boys’ PISA mean scores in mathematics showed a similar trend. They consistently outperformed the average OECD mean score for boys in mathematics, but their mean score also declined. As a result, the gap between Australian boys’ mean score and the average OECD mean score also narrowed over this period to less than 3 points in 2018.
Australian girls and boys (aged 15) consistently achieved similar mean scores in science in the OECD PISA between 2006 and 2018. Both achieved mean scores for science that were higher than the average OECD science mean scores.
However, both Australian girls’ and boys’ PISA mean scores for science, as well as the average OECD mean score, declined over this period.
Australian girls’ PISA mean scores in reading were consistently higher than the boys’ mean score over the same period. They were also consistently higher than the average OECD mean scores of boys and girls in reading. In 2018, Australian girls’ mean reading performance score was 31 points higher than boys’.
Understanding the data
The Australian Council for Educational Research’s PISA 2018 report provides analysis indicating the difference between two year levels.
On average, 33 score points on the reading literacy scale, 28 points on the mathematics literacy scale, and 27 points on the scientific literacy scale is the equivalent to a year of schooling.
Read about our methodology.