Singapore Slips to 2nd in PISA Rankings

Singapore loses its top spot to China in the latest global education rankings for reading, science and maths by the OECD's testing body.
Singapore Slips to 2nd in PISA Rankings
By Carli Allan
Do your children attend a Singapore school? Take our survey and help other parents.
WhichSchoolAdvisor's annual school survey.

Singapore is ranked second place behind China in the 2018 PISA tests, a global study that compares the academic performance of 15-year-olds across many countries. The Red Dot has slipped from its first-place position in 2015 to be ranked second in all three subjects covered in the study – reading, science and mathematics.

The OECD’s PISA 2018 tested around 600,000 15-year-old students in 79 countries and economies on reading, science and mathematics; the study is completed every three years. The main focus in 2018 was on reading, with most students doing the test on computers.

Singapore had an average reading score of 549 compared to 535 in 2015; 551 in science compared to 564 in 2015; and 569 in mathematics compared to 564 in 2015. While Singapore is now ranked behind China, it has still achieved high scores that place it above Macau (third), Hong Kong (fourth) and Estonia (fifth). Also, Singapore’s scores are still significantly above the OECD averages of 487 for reading and 489 for both science and mathematics.

Other findings include:

  • One in four students in Singapore perform at the highest levels in reading
  • One in seven students in Singapore (13.8%) perform at the highest level in maths; this compares to only 2.4% in OECD countries
  • Immigrant students in Singapore scored higher or at least the same as their non-immigrant peers

In Singapore, 6,676 students were randomly selected to join the PISA test. The sample came from all 153 public secondary schools and 13 randomly-selected private schools, including international schools.

Reflecting on the PISA 2018 findings, Singapore’s deputy director-general of education (Curriculum), Sng Chern Wei, said: "PISA 2018 shows that our students are well-equipped with critical skills and the resilience that would serve them well in a rapidly changing and complex world.

“The PISA results remain a useful international reference for MOE as we develop our education policies and programmes, as it provides us with rich insights about the progress we are making in building critical skills in our students, and the school and home contexts within which they do so.”

Latest Singapore articles
Courses & Curricula

IB Results Day 2022: What You Need to Know

It’s less than one week until IB Results Day. Students will receive their scores n…


Advice: Starting Secondary School

Do you remember your first day at secondary? The time you jumped from being a big fish to…

Courses & Curricula

4 Schools Supporting Gifted & Talented Students

"My daughter is a mathematical genius. My son is a musical prodigy. So, is my child gifte…


New UK Work Visa for World's Top Graduates

Graduates from the world's top 50 universities can apply to work in the UK under a new vi…


Thank You Teacher Gifts & Ideas

Whilst some might argue that teaching is a job much the same as any other, most parents w…


Top 10 Things Parents Do That Drive Nursery Staff Mad

Parents, listen up! Nursery teachers would like you to know that being an educator of li…

School Performance

WINNER: Best Schools Award (Singapore) 2022 for Best Early Years

Winner of the WhichSchool Advisor (Singapore) Best Schools Award 2022 for Best…

School Performance

WINNER: Best Schools Award (Singapore) 2022 for Best UK Pathway

Winner of the WhichSchoolAdvisor (Singapore) Best Schools Award 2022 for Best UK Pa…

0 Schools Selected
keyboard_arrow_down keyboard_arrow_up
Your selection Clear All