PIRLS/ePIRLS 2016 – Canada in Context: Canadian Results from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study provides the results for the fourth cycle of PIRLS. CMEC released the results on December 10, 2018.

The PIRLS assessment has been providing trends in reading achievement over a 15-year period. Based on a comprehensive framework, PIRLS provides internationally comparative data on how well children read after four years of primary/elementary schooling.

In spring 2016, over 340,000 students from 50 countries participated in PIRLS; in Canada, over 18,000 students took part in the cognitive assessment in either English or French across eight provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador). Information about students’ homes, schools, and classroom contexts was also collected in PIRLS, via background questionnaires that were completed by the students being assessed, their parents or caregivers, their school principals, and their teachers.

In 2016, the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) created a new extension to the PIRLS assessment: ePIRLS, an innovative assessment of on-line reading. ePIRLS uses an engaging simulated Internet environment to measure Grade 4 students’ achievement in reading for informational purposes, covering the same comprehension processes as the written component of PIRLS. Close to 9,000 students in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador participated in both PIRLS and ePIRLS.

The Canadian report will not only provide provincial-level results on Grade 4 student achievement in reading, but it will also relate these results to home, classroom, and school characteristics.

PIRLS Infographic Benchmarks 1
PIRLS Infographic Benchmarks 2
PIRLS Infographic Benchmarks 3
PIRLS Infographic Benchmarks 4

Further information on PIRLS 2016 is available at:

Sample PIRLS passages, questions, and scoring guides are available at:

Sample PIRLS literacy passages, questions, and scoring guides are available at: