Results from PISA 2018

In 2018 PISA focused on reading literacy. The main focus was also on reading literacy in PISA 2000 and PISA 2009. New results were released on 3 December 2019. The results of the financial literacy assessment were published on 7 May 2020.

Over half a million 15-year-olds from 79 countries and economies took the PISA test in 2018. They were tested in reading, mathematics and science with a focus on reading. In addition, students in some countries took tests on financial literacy and on global competence. 

PISA 2018 results show that Finnish students continue to perform well in reading literacy. Finland is among the top OECD countries together with Estonia, Canada, Ireland and Korea. However, the trend in reading literacy is still declining.

Finland’s mean score in reading proficiency fell by 6 points compared with PISA 2015. A longer-term review shows that the trend in reading literacy is declining not only in Finland, but also in OECD countries on average. Finland’s mean score has dropped by 16 points relative to 2009 and by 26 points relative to 2000.

Mathematical literacy among Finnish students is still well above the OECD average. Finland’s ranking places were between 7 and 13 among OECD countries and between 12 and 18 among all participating countries and economies.

The performance of Finnish students in science literacy (mean score 522) ranked among the best in the OECD immediately after Estonia (530) and Japan (529). However, Finland's scores have fallen steadily.

Finland ranked in 2-3 place (537 points) in financial literacy. Finland took part in it for the first time.

Finland's results Score points OECD countries All participants
Reading literacy 520 (1-5) (3-9)
Mathematical literacy 507 (7-13) (12-18)
Science literacy 522 (3-5) (6-10)
Financial literacy 537 (2-3) (2-3)

There was no statistical difference between the score points among the positions in brackets.

In Finland the survey was carried out by the Finnish Institute for Educational Research of the University of Jyväskylä together with Helsinki University.

Altogether 79 countries and economies participated in the 2018 survey. The results were published on 3 December 2019. Altogether 20 countries took part in the financial literacy assessment (results published on 7 May).

Contact information

Tommi Karjalainen, opetusneuvos 
Ministry of Education and Culture, Varhaiskasvatuksen, perusopetuksen ja vapaan sivistystyön osasto ( VAPOS ), Strategiaryhmä Telephone:0295330140   Email Address:

Eeva-Riitta Pirhonen, Director General 
Ministry of Education and Culture, Varhaiskasvatuksen, perusopetuksen ja vapaan sivistystyön osasto ( VAPOS ) Telephone:0295330258   Email Address:

Arto Ahonen PISA National Project Manager (Finnish Institute for Educational Research / University of Jyväskylä), +358 40 839 4209, [email protected]

Jenna Hiltunen, Project Researcher (University of Jyväskylä), +358 40 805 4273

Mari-Pauliina Vainikainen, Research Coordinator (Centre for Educational Assessment / University of Helsinki), +358 50 318 2188