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Submitted by JP on Wed, 12/06/2023 - 11:23
Outstanding Results of Polish and Czech Students in the Latest PISA Study. Young Poles and Czechs Among the Smartest in the European Union and OECD

The results of the latest edition of the prestigious international PISA study show that both Polish and Czech fifteen-year-olds have maintained a high position globally in terms of mathematical skills, reading comprehension, and scientific reasoning. Young Hungarians also outperformed the average youth from the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. However, young Slovaks significantly lagged below the OECD average in the tests, achieving results even worse than students from the United States. 

Announcement of the Results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2022, December 5, 2023, at the Educational Research Institute in Warsaw. Photo by Piotr Nowak/PAP

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which assesses both knowledge and skills in interpretation and reasoning, has been conducted regularly since 2003. In the PISA 2022 edition, conducted in March and April of the previous year, over 690 thousand students from more than 80 countries around the world participated.

Students from Poland and the Czech Republic Among the Global Leaders

In the latest edition of the PISA study, mathematics took the lead as the primary subject. The highest score worldwide was achieved by students in Singapore with 575 points. Among European countries, Estonian youth took the lead with 510 points, surpassing students from Switzerland (508 points). Dutch students followed (493 points), along with Irish students (492 points). Polish teachers also have reasons to be proud, as their students scored 489 points, placing Poland fourth in the European Union and twelfth globally.

In the field of reading comprehension, the average score for Polish students was 489 points. Czech students also scored the same average in reading comprehension tests. Hungarian teenagers received an average of 473 points, while Slovak youth scored only 447 points. The performance of Polish teenagers in this area is among the highest in the European Union and is comparable to the results achieved by youth in Finland (490 points), Denmark (489 points), and Sweden (487 points). For comparison, Estonian students scored an impressive average of 511 points in reading comprehension, while Irish youth scored 516 points. Japanese students (516 points) and those from Singapore (543 points) excelled even further. The average score for OECD countries was 476 points.

In the realm of scientific reasoning, Polish students achieved an average score of 499 points. In comparison, their counterparts in the Czech Republic scored just one point less (498). In Hungary, the average score in this category was 486 points, and in Slovakia, it was only 462 points. In Europe, students from Estonia once again excelled in this category with an average score of 526 points, followed by Finland (511 points), and the United Kingdom and Slovenia (500 points).

Worsening Results Among Youth Worldwide

While the performance of Poles remains very good, it has significantly declined over the past three years. Young Czechs are also faring worse than they did a few years ago. Nevertheless, both young Poles and Czechs still outperformed their peers in many other European Union countries and OECD member states. This trend is evident globally.

The latest results from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), one of the most prominent student-ranking organisations in the world, are causing headaches across the European Union and the world. 

In 2003, during math tests, the global average was 501 points. Similar results were observed in 2009, but by 2015, the average had dropped to 496 points. The study conducted in 2022 yielded an even worse result, with students averaging only 480 points. In the area of reading comprehension, the average score achieved by youth in OECD countries in 2022 was 10 points lower than in 2018. Only the score in scientific reasoning was similar to that of 2018. Many European Union countries have seen a steep decline over the past two decades: pupils in France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and Belgium did badly again in PISA 2022.

Experts attribute one of the main factors for the decline in students' performance to the pandemic and remote learning."