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Research and analysis

PISA 2009 study: how big is the gap? - A comparison of pupil attainment in England with the top-performing countries

PISA aims to compare the abilities of pupils across participating OECD member states to analyse, reason and communicate ideas affectively.

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The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) aims to compare the abilities of pupils across participating OECD member states and partner countries to analyse, reason and communicate their ideas effectively. The previous PISA studies in 2000, 2003 and 2006 focused on reading, mathematics and science respectively. The 2009 PISA study returned to reading as the main focus.

A pupil’s attainment in the PISA assessments is recorded using a scale of PISA points. To facilitate year on year comparison, pupils’ scores in the 2009 PISA study have been scaled to fit the metric for pupils’ points in the PISA 2000 reading study, which were normally distributed, with a mean of 500 and a standard deviation of 100.