Educational Testing Service


Cambridge Assessment


The Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment

Current research:

International Surveys

PISA, Programme for International Student Assessment

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a triennial international survey which aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students. In 2015 over half a million students, representing 28 million 15-year-olds in 72 countries and economies, took the internationally agreed two-hour test. Students were assessed in science, mathematics, reading, collaborative problem solving and financial literacy.
The results of the 2015 assessment were published on 6th December 2016.

PIRLS, Progress in International Reading Literacy Study

PIRLS provides internationally comparative data on how well children read by assessing students’ reading achievement. PIRLS collects considerable background information on how education systems provide educational opportunities to their students, as well as the factors that influence how students use these opportunities. These background data include information about the following: national curriculum policies in reading; how the education system is organized to facilitate learning; students’ home environment for learning; school climate and resources; and how instruction actually occurs in classrooms.

TIMMS, Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study

TIMSS has been measuring trends in mathematics and science achievement at the fourth and eighth grades since 1995. Conducted every four years at the fourth and eighth grades, TIMSS has a quasi-longitudinal design, with the fourth grade student cohort assessed four years later at the eighth grade. Assessing fourth grade students can provide an early warning for necessary curricular reforms, and the effectiveness of these reforms can be further monitored at the eighth grade. TIMSS assessments use the curriculum (broadly defined) as the major organizing concept in order to investigate how the participating countries are providing educational opportunities in mathematics and science to students, and the factors related to how students are using these opportunities. Students, their teachers, and their school principals are asked to complete questionnaires about their school and classroom instructional contexts for learning mathematics and science.