Despite improvements over the years, Israeli pupils’ scores on the PISA exam
still lag behind those of students in the rest of the OECD member countries,
data revealed Tuesday showed.
The Program for International Student
Assessment test, which is administered to over 70 countries every three years
since 2000, aims to assess education systems around the world by measuring 15-
and 16-year-old students’ skills in literacy, math and science, in order to
examine their readiness to enter adulthood. The exam is both printed and
According to the National Authority for Measurement and
Evaluation in Education, the PISA exam is the most important and most innovative
one given today.
The data presented on Tuesday was extracted from the
results of the test, which took place in March 2012 in Israel among a
representative sample of 5,055 pupils from 172 schools across the
According to the figures, Israel’s achievement in reading is
close to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
average, while in other areas the gap is larger.
For the printed test,
Israel ranks 40th in math, 33rd in reading and 40th in science.
computerized test, the country ranks 27th in math and 26th in
Overall, from 2006 to 2012, Israel’s scores have increased by 24
points in math and 16 points in science. From 2002 to 2012, the reading scores
have increased by 34 points.
In addition, the report showed that the rate
of “excellent” students in Israel is similar to the OECD’s average. In reading,
10 percent of Israeli pupils were found to be excellent, compared to 8% on
average in the rest of the OECD countries; in math the Israeli rate stands at
9%, compared to the OECD’s 12%; and in science, it stands at 6% in Israel vs. 8%
in the OECD.
The rate of weaker students, on the other hand, was higher
in Israel than in the rest of the OECD countries. Some 24% of Israeli students
who took the exam were considered ‘weak’ in reading, compared to only 17% in the
rest of the OECD. In math the Israeli rate stood at 34%, compared to 23% in the
In science, the rate was 29% in Israel and 18% in the rest of the
Moreover, in all areas tested, Israel shows the
largest range of grades in the world.
Significant gaps in achievements
were recorded between students from different socioeconomic backgrounds, more
specifically between Arabic speaking students and their Hebrew-speaking
On the computerized part of the test, a gap of 92 points in
favor of Hebrew speakers was recorded.
Moreover, the rate of weak
students among Arabic speaking pupils was 67%, compared to only 31% for
Almost no excellent students were found among
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