PISA-Studie 2018

Results • Profiling Institute

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The results of the PISA 2018 study have recently been published and are causing debate. How did Germany do? What do the results mean?

PISA 2018 study

The 2018 PISA study was the largest of its kind to date and was conducted in 79 countries with approximately 600,000 participants. In Germany, the number of fifteen-year-old participants was 5,451 from a total of 226 schools. In the process of cutting Germany in the tested areas of reading competence, mathematics and science slightly above average away. Still, there are results overall worse than previous years and a decrease in areas was recorded. However, in the ranking of participating countries, Germany is behind Norway and ahead of Slovenia further behind the leaders from Europe and Asia. In the leading positions are four Chinese provinces, Singapore and Estonia. These are The main results of the PISA 2018 study with a comparison of all countries:

Source: OECD, PISA 2018 database. Available under: Overview of reading, math and science performance

reading literacy

Germany is doing well in literacy slightly above average away. The deterioration compared to earlier results is not statistically significant, i.e. not reliable and therefore not particularly large. they lay roughly back to 2009 levels. girl decrease in Germany and also in the average of all countries significantly better gone like a boy Girls’ advantage in Germany was less pronounced than the OECD average and also smaller than that found in the 2009 PISA study.

Primarily difference in the reading literacy of pupils favorable and unfavorable socio-economic background aggravated. The results of the PISA 2018 study show a a much bigger difference among students than it was in 2009. The advantage of students from particularly favorable socio-economic backgrounds over students from particularly unfavorable backgrounds is significantly greater than the OECD average. On the other hand, it’s gratifying 10 percent of students from disadvantaged backgrounds also in the upper part of the power distribution were, which lies in the average of the countries. However, in the best-performing regions, such as a province in China and Estonia, this affects more than 15 percent of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Equal opportunities and good outcomes do not appear to be mutually exclusive Equality of opportunity thus emerged as a current topic in Germany.


In the field of mathematics, the results of the PISA 2018 study showed a slightly above average value German students. However, a a significant decrease compared to the results of 2012 established. Boys cut to the girls better while the gender gap is less pronounced than for reading literacy, but still larger than the average gap between boys and girls in OECD countries.


In natural sciences, the value achieved in Germany in the framework of the PISA 2018 study clearly above average compared to other OECD countries. However, a decrease compared to the results of previous years. girls and boys showed in this area no differences in the results.

Pupils with a migrant background

In the PISA study from 2018, pupils with a migrant background, i.e. with both parents who were not born in Germany, are also taken into account. This is how the situation in Germany changed compared to 2009, they increased by 4 percent (18 to 22 percent). In terms of equality of opportunity, it appears that Half of the immigrant students also have an unfavorable socio-economic background he had a background. In the area reading literacy the differences between students with and without a migrant background are particularly high. Still be 15 percent students of immigrant origin can be found in the upper region of the performance distribution.

of increased demands on the education system, which have been accompanied by an increased number of students with a migrant background in recent years, could be a possible explanation for the decline in performance in Germany. One extensive search for causes is appropriate so Press Release for German PISA results.

welfare of students

In addition to skills, the 2018 PISA survey also looked at student well-being. Accordingly, 67 percent of students in Germany would describe themselves as satisfied with their lives, in line with the OECD average, while 92 percent said they were sometimes or always happy. 4 percent would describe themselves as always sad, and 23 percent said they were teased or bullied by classmates at least once a month, a number that is in line with the OECD average. That The well-being of students in Germany is therefore relatively good and they will be given as a positive example, like the results from the Flemish part of Belgium, Estonia or Finland. A cross-country comparison showed that fear of failure is particularly prevalent among students in those countries where literacy scores were particularly high. However, in the countries just mentioned, this correlation did not appear, meaning that good performance could go hand in hand with good student achievement.

School management report

The results of the 2018 PISA study also showed that school leaders in Germany deficiencies expressed more often than average had That goes for both personnel as Equipment. Especially schools where a unfavorable socioeconomic status outbalancewould under lack of personnel suffer and 70 percent of these students would feel harmed as a result. In contrast, in privileged schools, only 34 percent of pupils are affected by such a disability in the classroom due to a lack of staff.

Here is a country note on the PISA 2018 results:

Country note for Germany

You can find the relevant press release here:

Press release for Germany

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