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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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Science Framework

This chapter presents the theory underlying the PISA 2012 science assessment. It begins with a definition of scientific literacy, outlines the organisation of science in PISA and sets the context for the test questions. The chapter describes the knowledge and skills at the heart of the assessment: identifying scientific issues, explaining phenomena scientifically and using scientific evidence. It then describes how knowledge and attitudes are also encompassed in the PISA definition of scientific literacy. Test questions are given as examples throughout this chapter to illustrate the classification, format and structure of the PISA science assessment.

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