Some important features of PISA 2021 and India’s participation:

1. Schools run by Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) and Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS) as well as schools in the Union Territory of Chandigarh will participate.

2. A sample of 15-year-old students will be selected from each school system.

3. PISA is a competency-based assessment that measures the extent to which students have acquired key competencies that are essential for full participation in modern societies

4. Findings from India’s participation in PISA will help introduce competency-based examination reforms in the school system and facilitate a move away from rote learning. The CBSE and NCERT will be involved throughout the entire PISA process.

5. More than 80 countries, including 44 middle-income countries, have participated in PISA since the first round of testing in 2000. The next round will be held in 2021, and 88 countries are scheduled to participate. The list of registered countries includes Brazil, China (certain areas like Shanghai and Beijing), and countries from South-East Asia like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

6. PISA uses test items aligned with international benchmarks. The test items are adapted to the local context and language, pilot tested, and validated before being used for the test.

Sample competency-based questions:

PISA covers three domains: reading literacy, mathematical literacy, and scientific literacy. PISA aims to define each domain less in terms of mastery of the corresponding school curriculum and more in terms of mastery of the important knowledge and skills needed in adult life. Emphasis is placed on mastery of processes, understanding of concepts, and the ability to apply knowledge and skills to real-life situations.