You're viewing our new website - find out more


Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015: Highlights from Scotland's results

Published: 6 Dec 2016 10:00
Part of:

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today published Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015: Highlights from Scotland’s Results. PISA is an assessment of 15 year-olds around the world in reading, maths and science.

The main findings are:

Scotland’s performance in 2015 was similar to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average in science, maths and reading. In the previous PISA survey in 2012, Scotland was above the OECD average in reading and science, and similar to the OECD average in maths.

Scotland’s performance was lower than 2012 in science and reading, and similar to 2012 in maths.

The proportion of pupils performing at the highest levels of achievement (Level 5 and above) and performing at the lowest levels (below Level 2) were similar in Scotland to the OECD average for science. In maths and reading, Scotland has a smaller proportion of pupils than the OECD average below Level 2 and at Level 5 or above.

Girls outperformed boys in reading, but boys and girls had similar performance in maths and science

Socio-economic background had a similar effect on performance compared to 2012, but is still reduced compared to the results of the 2009 survey.

Pupils in Scotland are generally more positive about the value of learning science at school than is the case across the OECD. Classroom disruption is generally lower than average, and relationships with teachers more positive.


1. The full statistical publication is available at:

2. The full set of results for all countries, published by the OECD at 10.00 GMT Tuesday 6 December 2016, can be found at

3. Further information on School Education statistics within Scotland can be accessed at: 

4. Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: