Students are tested every three years in the reading, mathematics and science competence areas as part of the PISA study. One competence area is focused on more closely in each study. PISA 2018 marks the start of the third PISA cycle and for the third time (after 2000 and 2009) reading literacy will be the focus.
The PISA study performance tests are based on the literacy concept. Within the context of PISA “functional” literacy covers two aspects, namely appropriateness for current and later after-school participation in a culture and connectivity in the sense of continuous lifelong learning. The focus on these two aspects is crucial to the aim of measuring educational results towards the end of compulsory schooling. On the one hand, knowledge and competency in the relevant domains are to be surveyed as the basic prerequisite to continuous learning in these areas. On the other, the question is the extent to which learning opportunities in and out of school have been embraced by the time of the test in order to achieve literacy in specific domains.