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PISA 2012 Assessment and Analytical Framework

Mathematics, Reading, Science, Problem Solving and Financial Literacy

image of PISA 2012 Assessment and Analytical Framework

Are students well prepared to meet the challenges of the future? Can they analyse, reason and communicate their ideas effectively? Have they found the kinds of interests they can pursue throughout their lives as productive members of the economy and society?

The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) seeks to answer these questions through the most comprehensive and rigorous international assessment of student knowledge and skills. PISA 2012 Assessment and Analytical Framework presents the conceptual framework underlying the fifth cycle of PISA. Similar to the previous cycles, the 2012 assessment covers reading, mathematics and science, with the major focus on mathematical literacy. Two other domains are evaluated: problem solving and financial literacy. Students respond to a background questionnaire and, as an option, to an educational career questionnaire as well as another questionnaire about Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Additional supporting information is gathered from the school authorities through the school questionnaire and from the parents through a third optional questionnaire. Sixty-six countries and economies, including all 34 OECD member countries, are taking part in the PISA 2012 assessment.

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Problem-Solving Framework

This chapter presents the framework underlying the PISA 2012 computerbased assessment of individual problem-solving competency, including the rationale for the assessment, the framework’s research underpinnings and a definition of what is meant by problem-solving competency. The definition is discussed in detail, as are the three key domain elements of most importance for the assessment: the problem context, the nature of the problem situation, and the cognitive processes involved in solving a problem. The general structure of the assessment and its computer delivery are described, including the test interface and the response formats employed. The distributions of items by problem nature and context, and according to cognitive process, are specified. The inclusion of problems that require the solver to interact with the problem situation to uncover necessary information not explicitly disclosed is highlighted. Sample items are presented with commentary, including an illustration of how response data (captured by the computer-delivery system) is used to enhance scoring.

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