Annex B. PISA Science Framework

The PISA science framework received its most recent major updates when it was the major domain of assessment in PISA 2015. This framework for PISA 2015 was used also in PISA 2018 and 2022. It refined and extended the previous construct, which had been developed in the PISA 2006 framework that was also the basis for assessment in 2009 and 2012.

Scientific literacy is developed through science education that is both broad and applied. Thus, within this framework, the concept of scientific literacy refers both to a knowledge of science and of science-based technology. However, science and technology differ in their purposes, processes and products. Technology seeks the optimal solution to a human problem and there may be more than one optimal solution. In contrast, science seeks the answer to a specific question about the natural material world.

Scientific literacy also requires not just knowledge of the concepts and theories of science but also a knowledge of the common procedures and practices associated with scientific enquiry and how these enable science to advance. Therefore, individuals who are scientifically literate understand the major conceptions and ideas that form the foundation of scientific and technological thought; how such knowledge has been derived; and the degree to which such knowledge is justified by evidence or theoretical explanations.

Please see the full version of the science framework in the following link: PISA 2015 Assessment and Analytical Framework: Science, Reading, Mathematic, Financial Literacy and Collaborative Problem Solving | en | OECD

Metadata, Legal and Rights

This document, as well as any data and map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. Extracts from publications may be subject to additional disclaimers, which are set out in the complete version of the publication, available at the link provided.

© OECD 2023

The use of this work, whether digital or print, is governed by the Terms and Conditions to be found at