The results of PIRLS 2021 are finally published

IEA’s PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) is an ongoing international assessment program of students’ reading achievement in their fourth year of schooling—an important transition point in their development as readers. By this time in their education, students typically have learned how to read and are now reading to learn. Conducted every five years since 2001, PIRLS is recognized as the global standard for assessing trends in reading achievement at the fourth grade.

PIRLS 2021 is the fifth cycle of the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study. Since 2021, PIRLS has provided high-quality data for monitoring progress in students’ reading achievement at the fourth grade, covering 20 years of trends. The PIRLS reading assessment is based on a comprehensive framework that focuses on two overarching purposes for reading — for literary experience and to acquire and use information.

PIRLS 2021 results provide descriptions of students’ reading skills and strategies at four international benchmarks on the PIRLS reading achievement scale for meaningful interpretation of reading achievement scores.

Successfully conducted in 57 countries and eight benchmarking entities, PIRLS 2021 differs from previous PIRLS assessments in several ways. First, a substantial creative effort was focused on transitioning PIRLS 2021 to an innovative digital assessment with 23 colorful and engaging texts delivered to students using a new group adaptive design. Second, PIRLS 2021 data collection occurred over two years during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Although collecting data in schools faced many disruptions, most countries met the standards for high-quality data collection. This tremendous effort resulted in PIRLS 2021 providing the only internationally comparative fourth grade achievement results collected during the pandemic.

The full report is available here.

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