This page belongs to: STEM Equity Monitor
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests 15-year-old students from around the world every 3 years. PISA tests students in science, mathematics and reading.
PISA assessment scores
Compare mean PISA scores for girls and boys in Australia and the OECD average.
Note: The next PISA assessments will focus on mathematics and are scheduled for 2022. They were delayed from 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Between 2006 and 2018, Australian girls consistently achieved lower PISA mean scores in mathematics compared to Australian boys. In 2018, the gap between girls’ and boys’ 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, down from 24 points in 2006.
Australian boys’ PISA mean scores in mathematics show 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, down from 27 points in 2006.
Between 2006 and 2018, Australian girls and boys (aged 15) consistently achieved similar PISA mean scores in science. Both girls and boys also 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 boys’ mean score over the same period of 2006 to 2018. 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’.
About the data
The Australian Council for Educational Research’s PISA 2018 report provides analysis indicating the difference between 2 year levels.
On average, a year of schooling is equivalent to:
- 33 points on the reading literacy scale
- 28 points on the mathematics literacy scale
- 27 points on the scientific literacy scale.
Read about our methodology.