PISA Study: Hungarian Students' Performance Stays Level as OECD Average Falls

  • 6 Dec 2023 6:19 AM
  • Hungary Matters
PISA Study: Hungarian Students' Performance Stays Level as OECD Average Falls
The latest PISA study showed no significant change in Hungarian students’ reading and mathematics skills compared with the previous, 2018 results, even as the performance of other OECD countries fell, the head of the Hungarian Education Office (OH) said.

The 2022 PISA study, released on Tuesday, showed the results of tests from 81 countries, Sándor Brassói said. The reading, mathematics and science skills of 15-year-olds fell sharply in countries long considered as having exemplary education systems such as Iceland, Norway, the Netherlands and Finland, he said.

Meanwhile, Hungary maintained — and slightly improved — those skills despite the pandemic and the difficult economic situation, Brassói said. Students have taken the transfer to digital education in stride, and the number of weak-performing students fell slightly, he added.

Gábor Kristóf Velkey, the head of public education analysis at OH, said the 2022 survey had seen the most participants so far, 37 OECD members and 44 partner states. In Hungary, 6,198 students of 270 public education institutes completed the tests, he added. In maths, Hungarian students scored an average of 473 points, compared with the OECD average of 472 points, Velkey said.

The OECD average in science was 485 points, and Hungarians scored an average of 486; in reading, the OECD average was 476 points, and the Hungarian 473 points, he said.

Velkey noted that the study places individual results of proficiency levels to indicate larger-scale trends.

The EU’s goal is to push the ratio of the students not reaching proficiency level 2 below 15%. In maths, 68.9% of students reached that level on average, while 70.5% of Hungarian students did so, Velkey said. In reading, 73.7% of children reached proficiency level 2 on average, and 74.1% in Hungary. In science, the same ratio was 75.5% in OECD countries and 77.1% in Hungary.

Hungary also scored above average considering its GDP-per-capita ratio, Brassói added. Further, 81% of Hungarian children said they made friends easily and that they felt they belonged to a community, compared with 76% on average, he said.

The general satisfaction of children with their lives fell since the last study, with 18% now saying they were dissatisfied with their lives, up from 16% in 2018, Brassói said.

In Hungary, the same indicator fell from 16% in 2018 to 13% in 2022, he said. The number of children who said they felt unsafe on their way to school or in the classroom was 7% and 5%, respectively, a few points below the OECD average, he added.

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