AIS on par with top two PISA countries

December 07, 2019

On Tuesday the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) released its 2018 results. PISA measures 15 year olds’ ability to use their reading, mathematics and science knowledge. Around 600,000 students in 79 countries completed the test in 2018.

Antwerp International School benchmarks itself against these results by conducting the International Schools’ Assessment (ISA) tests on an annual basis. While PISA only assesses reading, mathematics and science skills for 15 year olds, ISA allows us to assess these skills for the entire range of 8 to 15 year olds. At the moment we test reading and mathematics skills. Both PISA and ISA use the same testing regime and assessment scale, thus providing a direct comparison of AIS students with PISA results.

A first comparison of our 2018 results revealed that our students do exceptionally well in these tests. China and Singapore are the two countries that lead the PISA league tables, with their highest scores for reading being 555 and 549, mathematics 591 and 569 respectively. The PISA OECD world average score for reading is 487 and for mathematics is 489. Our 2018 Grade 10 students scored an average of 562 in reading and 589 in mathematics. In fact, most of our Grade 7 students (12 years of age) already perform on the level of the PISA world average for 15 year olds. Belgium ranks at 22nd place in the league table, with scores of 493 for reading and 508 for mathematics.

Clearly, we are very proud of these results, even more so because we are a non-selective school, admitting students from all academic backgrounds. However, at AIS we use our ISA results as just one key indicator of educational success. Educating a child cannot be reduced to a few numerical measures and academic subjects. A holistic education also takes into account the development of the entire personality, the respective social-emotional and cognitive domains, as well as cultural and language backgrounds, to name just a few. AIS students are also guided and trained in all these important areas, in addition to the obvious excellent academic standards.