Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015: highlights from Scotland's results: collaborative problem solving

The results of the PISA 2015 assessment of collaborative problem solving, showing Scotland’s results and those of other participating states.

Main Messages

Key points

  • Scotland performed above the OECD average in the Programme for International Student Assessment ( PISA) of collaborative problem solving in 2015
  • The proportions of Scottish pupils performing at the highest level of achievement (“Level 4”) were above the OECD average and those performing at the lowest levels (“below Level 2”) were below the OECD average
  • The gradient of relationship between performance and social background was similar to the OECD average. However, the strength of the relationship was lower than the OECD average. The performance of students from immigrant and non-immigrant backgrounds was similar and the gap between them was smaller than the OECD average

Scotland’s performance in collaborative problem solving

  • In collaborative problem solving, Scotland’s performance in 2015 was higher than the OECD average with a mean score of 513 points.
  • With respect to Scotland’s relative position (compared to OECD countries and UK administrations) Scotland was outperformed by nine countries, was similar to six, and performed higher than 19.
  • The proportion of low performers (below Level 2) was 23.8 per cent and was lower than the OECD average (28.1 per cent).
Collaboraive Problem Solving score
  • The proportion of high performers (at Level 4) was 9.8 per cent, and was higher than the OECD average of 7.9 per cent.
  • The strength of relationship between social disadvantage and a pupil’s score in Scotland was lower than the OECD average. About six per cent of the variation in Scotland could be explained by socio-economic factors.
  • The extent to which disadvantage was related to performance (or “gradient”) in Scotland was similar to the average across OECD countries and amounts to around 28 points.


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