Measuring up: Canadian Results of the OECD PISA 2018 Study – The Performance of Canadian 15-Year-Olds in Reading, Mathematics, and Science


Results from PISA 2018 were released on December 3, 2019.

Seventy-nine countries and economies took part in PISA 2018. Over half a million 15-year-old students, including approximately 22,500 Canadians, were tested on their skills and knowledge in three core learning areas: reading, mathematics, and science.

The main focus was reading, which was assessed through:

  • three cognitive process subscales: locating information, understanding, and evaluating and reflecting; and
  • two text structure subscales: single-source and multiple-source texts.

As well, PISA 2018 measured students’ reading habits and attitudes toward reading, including reading enjoyment, reading self-efficacy, reading preferences, and reading strategies.

Mathematics and science were assessed as minor domains, global competence as an innovative domain, and financial literacy as an optional domain.

Canada is releasing its own companion report to provide further information on student performance in the three core domains at the provincial level. Results are compared to other participating countries and across Canadian provinces.

Canada’s participation in PISA 2018 was made possible through close collaboration between CMEC and Employment and Social Development Canada.

Further information about PISA can be found on the OECD website.

PISA 2018 assessment and analytical frameworks are available at:

Sample test questions can be accessed at: