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The Top Performing Places for Education


This article is published in collaboration with Statista 

by Anna Fleck


Singapore has topped the latest world education ranking informally known as PISA, the Program for International Student Assessment, run by the OECD. The city-state’s pupils excelled in the core areas of math, science and reading, securing a high score of 560 points with students ahead of their peers on average by almost three to five years. As the following chart shows, several other countries and places in Asia feature high on the list, with Macau, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea rounding off the top 5.


Students in 81 countries and economies completed a series of tests to gauge and compare national averages in education in 2022. Usually carried out every three years, these results have been hotly anticipated, since there was a delay in testing due to the Covid pandemic.


As the following chart shows, Estonia scored the highest of any European nation with a score of 516, showing particular excellency in science (526), while Ireland placed in rank nine, with students doing especially well in the reading exam (516). Canada received the highest marks for North America, as the United States trailed behind in rank 18 with an overall score of 489.


European nations have lagged behind in this series of tests. OECD researchers say that while the shutdowns throughout the pandemic are one factor, this decline is also due to longer-term, systemic issues such as a lack of support from teachers and resources.


Worldwide, the PISA results showed an average decline of 15 points in math since the 2018 tests. This equates to about three-quarters of a school year of learning. At the same time, reading dropped by the equivalent of half a year and science remained around the same.

The lowest scoring countries and economies were the Philippines (353), Uzbekistan (352), Kosovo (351), Dominican Republic (350) and Cambodia (337).


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