Around 4,500 pupils in 121 Scottish schools, and around half a million pupils in in over 80 countries worldwide, will be selected to take part in PISA 2022. PISA is an important study as it is used by governments internationally to plan how to improve education systems in their countries.
What does PISA involve?
On the day of the study, an experienced Study Administrator will visit your child’s school/college  and lead a PISA session during normal school hours. During this session, pupils will answer questions on maths, reading and science on a computer. There is no need for any special preparation, studying or revision.
They will also answer a questionnaire about their background, attitudes and experiences in school. The main focus of these questions will be on their views about maths and their maths lessons. Some questions will ask them about their experiences of remote learning during the Covid-19 pandemic. This questionnaire will also ask for some information on homes and families. Therefore, it would be useful for pupils to know their parents’ or guardians’ occupations and highest educational qualification.
Your child does not need to answer any question that they do not feel comfortable with and the Study Administrators will be available to answer any queries they have.
For examples of PISA questions, please visit our Sample Questions page.
In total, the session will last about 3 hours with a break in the middle and pupils will receive a certificate to thank them for taking part.
How will NFER look after my child’s data?
NFER takes data protection very seriously and complies with the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018. Any personal information we collect will be held securely. The information NFER collects is used to compare how well pupils around the world learn.
No-one will see your child’s answers except the researchers involved in the study. No names or anything which can be used to identify an individual or school is shared with the OECD, or included in any reports.
Please view the PISA 2022 Privacy Notice for further details about the information we will collect and how we will use it.
Why is it important that my child takes part?
PISA provides the opportunity for pupils to represent Scotland in an important, global study and to make a valuable contribution to the understanding of Scotland’s education system. Pupils are selected randomly. This means all 15-year-olds in a selected school have an equal chance of being picked. This random selection means the pupils chosen will give a fair representation of all Scottish pupils and this is important for an international study such as PISA. If an invited pupil does not take part, he or she cannot be replaced by another pupil. Therefore, we strongly encourage all invited pupils to attend the PISA assessment session and give the assessment their best effort.
It is the participation of your child that makes PISA a success, and we are very grateful to everyone who takes part. Your child’s contribution is highly valued and of great importance to the Scottish Government and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Will PISA affect my child’s school work?
Taking part in PISA will help develop your child’s skills. It will support the work that they are doing towards their exams and give them extra practice answering computer-based questions. Taking part in PISA has no effect on your child’s school results. NFER will not share any individual answers to questions or named results, with the school.
Who is carrying out the study?
PISA 2022 is being delivered in Scotland by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) on behalf of the Scottish Government.
Please visit our PISA Research page for a series of briefing papers based on the results of international surveys, including PISA.
For more information on the PISA study, visit our frequently asked questions or watch this summary video.