Global Testing: PISA, TIMSS and PIRLS

  • Marilyn Kell
  • Peter Kell
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 24)


This chapter documents and describes three of the most influential international students' achievement tests and the performance of East Asian nations in them. The international tests that are analysed are the Programme for International Student Achievement (PISA), Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS). The chapter discusses the commonalities and differences between them and the strengths and weaknesses of these tests. This chapter presents some student achievement data from 2000 to 2009 in a tabular form to highlight the performance of East Asian nations. The data identifies a consistently high level of achievement by several East Asian nations most notably Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and Japan.


International Student Eighth Grade Partner Country Asian Nation OECD Member Country 
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  4. Kell, P., & Kell, M. (2011). International testing: Measuring global standards or reinforcing inequalities. International Journal of Learning, 17.
  5. OECD. (2005). The definition and selection of key competencies: Executive summary. Paris: OECD. Retrieved from,3746,en_2649_39263238_2669073_1_1_1_1,00.html

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marilyn Kell
    • 1
  • Peter Kell
    • 2
  1. 1.Charles Darwin UniversityDarwinAustralia
  2. 2.School of EducationCharles Darwin UniversityDarwinAustralia

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