The OECD Test for Schools is an initiative from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development started 15 years ago based on the PISA methodology. The aim is to provide an assessment to improve student learning outcomes and well-being by empowering teachers and school leaders with data-driven insights and global connections.

Since its creation, the project has been a huge success. The assessment has been administered over 2,200 times in schools in over 10 countries including the USA.

What is PISA?

PISA, which stands for Program for International Student Assessment, is a survey of 15-year-old students globally, administered every three years.  It was launched by the OECD in 1997. This program assesses students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills The overall aggregate serves as a benchmark to compare against educational systems across 80 countries.

The evaluation focuses on the core school subjects: reading, mathematics, and science. It also assesses students in an innovative domain, such as global competence, which was the domain for the PISA in 2018. American students performed above the OECD average in reading and science during that year, with 505 and 502 score points.

The OECD Test for Schools in the US

Based on the global PISA assessment, this test provides yearly school improvement and benchmarking results at the school level. It offers a comprehensive comparison between schools in the US and across other participating countries.

American schools can request this assessment once a year, as it occurs on-demand basis. Several providers offer services to schools, specifically catered to equip students with the latest required skills and help them with every aspect of the OECD Test for Schools.

Reasons to Take Part in The OECD Test for Schools

As a school leader or educator, it is crucial to get a good understanding on how well students can apply the knowledge they have to normal circumstances. While regular assessments provide useful insights on performance, they do not include comparative data to evaluate how well a school compares against other schools in the US or even at the international level. The OECD Test for Schools bridges that gap.

The competency-based evaluation gives American educators data-driven insights they need to benchmark students, adjust their teaching programs and improve academic outcomes.

Beyond data, participating in the test gives school leaders and educators access to global peer-learning opportunities and a mean to exchange among teachers nationally and internationally.

Assessment Details

A representative sample of 15-year-old students from the participating school needs to take the test aligned with the PISA global assessment scale.

The assessment involves 2 hours of questions in the three subject areas mentioned above and a half-hour student survey related to their home and school experiences. The overall duration of the test adds up to around 3.5 hours, including time allocated for instructions.

The educational leaders utilize the consolidated data from the test to examine the student’s competence, satisfaction, and interaction with their learning conditions.


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