Reading Literacy


As in 2000 and 2009, the reading literacy of students will be the focus of the 2018 PISA study.

Reading literacy includes the ability to extract the relevant information from texts and also to understand, use and reflect on written texts. The ability and incentive to engage with texts and address their content is also examined. In order to measure the diverse dimensions of reading literacy, in PISA it is defined as a complex competency with multiple facets. The exercises therefore include different situations and text formats. Solving reading exercises also calls for various cognitive processes of reading. A new feature of the 2018 PISA study is interactive exercises with several texts to be read in a simulated web environment. Aspects of reading literacy in the digital age are thus examined, including the ability to find, relate and assess information via navigation on websites.

Text formats:

  • continuous texts like newspaper articles, essays, novels and letters
  • non-continuous texts like tables, charts, diagrams, timetables, schedules

The conceptual framework defines the following contexts:

  • private contexts
  • public contexts
  • educational contexts
  • professional contexts


  • seeking and extracting information
  • combining and interpreting
  • reflecting and assessing