PISA study: German students with poor results, but who are still better than average

After several years of upward trend until 2013, the performance of German students in the areas of reading, mathematics and science has deteriorated slightly according to the international PISA study. Even so, their performance is still above average. German students achieved slightly worse results in each of the three areas of the comparative study than in the previous study published in 2016. Even then, however, the values ​​had only fallen in two areas.

PISA study in Germany

girl stands in front of the blackboard and tries to calculate

However, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) also pointed out in its presentation on Tuesday in Berlin that German students are still above the OECD average and therefore at a good level in terms of their performance. In mathematics and natural sciences, Germany is even above the average of the OECD countries. Nevertheless, the gap to the top group in Europe and Asia with Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Estonia, Canada and Finland remains large.

ballpoint pen and colored notes in pocket for students pisa study germany 2019

According to the OECD, one of the reasons for the decline in performance could be the refugee crisis. The proportion of immigrant students has increased significantly since the last PISA study and their integration into the educational system is a major challenge. For example, German students scored 498 in reading, 50 in math and 503 in science. The top countries, on the other hand, achieved values ​​between 550 and 590, the lower countries such as the Dominican Republic or the Philippines between 325 and 340.

statistical results pisa study

In a comparison of the results of the current survey on the subject of reading with the last focal study published in 2010 on the same subject, 15-year-olds in Germany today achieve similar results. The girls could read much better than the boys. When it comes to math, the boys are one step ahead. There are no differences in science. However, it is worrying that one in five 15-year-olds is experiencing poor reading proficiency. In mathematics and natural sciences, too, the proportion of low-performing students is around 20 percent.

When asked whether reading is a favorite hobby, only one in four students answered in the affirmative. Instead, more respondents (34 percent) said that reading was a waste of time for them. The Pisa study is the largest international survey comparing school performance. This time around 600,000 students from 79 countries took part, in Germany there were just under 5,500.

Students in the classroom writing and studying in the classroom Read more about it on the Page of the DW.