Singapore students excel in problem-solving, a global study shows

Singapore students excel in problem-solving, a global study shows

Singapore's 15-year-olds don't just excel in mathematics, science and reading, they are also world beaters when it comes to solving complex and unfamiliar problems, a global study shows.


Get the full story from The Straits Times.

Here are the main points of the country report for Singapore based on the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) study:

Singapore scores highest in the PISA 2012 assessment of problem solving, with 562 points on the PISA proficiency scale. Only Korea has a similarly high score.

Singapore also has the highest number of top-performing students in problem solving: 29% of students reach proficiency Level 5 or 6 (the OECD average is 11%).

More than nine out of ten students in Singapore (92%) can complete tasks at the baseline level (Level 2) or higher in problem solving and a majority of 15-year-old students in Singapore can complete tasks at least at Level 4, which means that they are able to engage with moderately complex situations in a systematic way.

Singapore students are better at problem-solving tasks that require exploring and understanding, representing and formulating, and monitoring and reflecting than tasks that require planning and executing. That said, this is in the context of Singapore students being still among the highest-performing in planning and executing.

Students in Singapore perform as expected in problem solving when taking into account their overall performance in mathematics, reading and science.

As is true across OECD countries, on average, in Singapore, the impact of socio-economic status on performance is weaker in problem solving than in mathematics, reading and science.

In Singapore, less than 1% of the variation in students' performance in problem solving is explained by differences in students' computer skills - far less than in other countries.

For the full report, click here.

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