The results of the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) report show that Catalonia is the European Union and OECD country that has most greatly improved in scientific and technological competences. The score was 12 points higher compared to the previous version from 2012. This is one of the main conclusions drawn from the results of the PISA report, which triennially assesses mathematical, scientific and reading competence fields, and this time has prioritised the fields of science and technology - 50% of the tests’ total.
PISA was used to assess 15-year-old students randomly chosen from 72 countries and regions. In Catalonia, the sample evaluated included 1,769 students from 52 schools around the country. The scientific literacy score was 504 points, reading was 500 and mathematical literacy was also 500 points. Compared to the previous version given in 2012, the result from the Catalan centres assessed was equivalent in reading comprehension and higher for mathematics.
Catalonia, with 504 points, is above the European average -495 points- regarding scientific competence, and higher than the OECD and Spain -both with 493 points-. It is noteworthy that the proportion of Catalan students almost equals the proportion of the OECD average as regards levels 5 and 6, the levels of excellence. Moreover, in scientific literacy, there are fewer students at low levels compared to the OECD and, therefore, more equity.
The results in scientific skills shows that, of the different areas evaluated, the best results are obtained from Earth and space sciences; procedural and epistemological; scientific research evaluation and design; and living systems. Compared to the 2012 PISA results, the percentage of students placing in the level of excellence has doubled, rising from 3.4% to 6.7%, while the percentage at lower levels has remained close to 15%, which is the target set by the EU in 2020.
In the three areas assessed, Catalonia is above the average for the European Union, OECD and Spain. Thus, mathematical comprehension has also experienced a marked improvement of 7 points, which also shows the influence of the activities and programs in STEM subjects. In the field of maths, Catalonia achieved 500 points, whereas the OECD average is 490 points, the European 493 points, and the Spanish result is 486 points. Regarding reading comprehension, Catalonia achieved 500 points, and the average of the OECD countries is 493, Europe 494 points and Spain 496 points.
Regarding reading comprehension, Catalonia is at the same levels of countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and France, while mathematical results align with countries like Norway, Austria, Ireland and Germany.