Education Snapshots

PISA mathematical literacy

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international assessment measuring the performance of 15 year olds in reading, mathematical and scientific literacy. Scores are reported on a scale from 0 to 1000.

In 2018, more than 600,000 students from 79 countries completed the PISA assessment. Australia-wide, more than 14,000 students from 740 schools took part.

In mathematical literacy, 50% of 15 year olds in South Australia met or exceeded the national proficient standard in 2018, a significant decrease since 2003 (73%) and lower than the national average (54%). South Australian students’ mean test score (482) was also lower than the OECD average (494) in 2018 (and has been lower since 2012).

The proportion of young men that met or exceeded the national proficient standard was slightly higher than the proportion of young women that met or exceeded the national proficient standard (52% and 49% respectively).

Apparent retention rate

The apparent retention rate is an estimate of the progression of students. It is arrived at by estimating the number of students enrolled in year 12 (and the number of students that had been enrolled 2 years prior, ie in year 10). In 2019, the apparent retention rate for all South Australian students was 89%, an increase since 2010 (81%) and higher than the national average (82%).

In 2019, the retention rate for Aboriginal students in South Australia was 78%, an increase since 2010 (65%) and higher than the national average (60%).

The retention rate for independent schools is 98%. Government schools have a retention rate of 85% and Catholic schools have a retention rate of 91%.

More education snapshots

  • Early childhood development
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Numeracy
  • Senior school certificate
  • Young people in full-time education
  • School attendance

More snapshots