Poor PISA Performance in Iceland Skip to content

Poor PISA Performance in Iceland

Iceland performs below average on all three main levels in the 2015 OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) Report, which was published today. Since 2000, the program has assessed the academic abilities of 15-year-old students in reading math and science. The assessment is done every three years and now includes 72 countries.

The performance of Icelandic tenth graders in natural sciences, math and reading has worsened since 2006, according to RÚV. Girls and boys perform at a similar level, and social background influences performance less than it does in other OECD countries. The difference in performance of those born in the country and those who are immigrants is similar to what it is in other OECD countries.

Iceland ranks the lowest among Nordic countries in reading comprehension, and the performance of tenth graders is now similar to what it used to be in ninth grade 15 years ago. Few member states have deteriorated as much in their performance during this time.

The situation in math comprehension is similar. The competence of tenth graders is similar to what it was among ninth graders 13 years ago. Math comprehension is worse here than in the majority of OECD countries, and lower than in any other Nordic country.

Science comprehension is less than it was in 2006 and less than in other Nordic countries.

Arnór Guðmundsson, head of the Directorate of Education, is worried by the fact that the performance of Icelandic students has worsened a great deal in every subject since those reports were first published. “This is a large change for the worse in the standing of Icelandic students, and it has never been worse on all three levels of PISA,” he stated.

You can view the full report here.

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