Singapore students shine in global test

Singapore students shine in global test

Singapore's 15-year-olds are again near the top of the class in a global ranking that measures how well students use mathematics, science and reading to solve real- world problems.

Local teens came in second in mathematics and third in science and reading in the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) carried out last year.

The 2009 Pisa ranked students here second in maths, fourth in science and fifth in reading.

The most recent Pisa test also showed that Singapore has made progress in lifting academically weaker students, while sustaining the performance of academically stronger ones. There were less than 10 per cent of low performers in each of the subjects.

Shanghai, which like Singapore was taking part in the Pisa study for the second time, topped all three categories.

Asian territories, including Hong Kong and Japan, hogged the top five spots in the study, which is held every three years. Finland was the exception, coming in fifth in reading and sixth in science.

Pisa is run by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, a group for major economies. The test, conducted in the native language of students, assesses 15-year-olds near the end of their secondary education.

In Singapore, 5,369 randomly selected students, mainly in Secondary 3 and 4, from all 166 public schools and 177 students from six private schools, including international ones, sat the paper-based test.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) said the strong performance shows that most of the students are adept at applying their knowledge and skills in novel ways.

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