PIAAC: International Results Summary (2013)

This document summarizes the Canadian results of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) initiative that provides internationally comparable measures of literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments (PS-TRE). As well, it points to areas of concern those results suggest.

Overall, Canadian adults, aged 16 to 65, performed about average on the literacy assessment relative to other OECD countries. However, Canadian young adults, aged 16 to 24, scored below average, with a mean score of 276, compared to the OECD average of 280.

The authors also note that Canada has a high variance between highest and lowest scores relative to other OECD countries.

Canadian adults and young adults performed below the OECD average on the numeracy part of the assessment, although in both cases the average scores in Canada were only slightly below the OECD average. As with literacy scores, there is a larger than average difference between the highest and lowest scores in Canada, with 180 points separating the 5th and 95th percentiles, compared to the OECD average of 167.

Overall, Canada fared well in the PS-TRE component, finishing well above average among adults, and about average for young adults.

However, there are large discrepancies between those Canadians who performed well and those who received poor scores. For example, 14.8 percent of adults scored below level 1, which is among the poorest rates in the OECD. Yet 7.1 percent of the Canadian sample scored at level 3, compared to the OECD average of 5.8 percent.

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APA citation
Essential Skills Ontario. PIAAC: International Results Summary 2013. Web. 5 Jul. 2022 <http://en.copian.ca/library/research/eso/piaac_summary/piaac_summary.pdf>
Essential Skills Ontario (2013). PIAAC: International Results Summary. Retrieved July 5, 2022, from http://en.copian.ca/library/research/eso/piaac_summary/piaac_summary.pdf
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