Mainland Chinese Students Are Now the Best in the World at Math, Science and Reading

Students from four mainland Chinese locales have taken the top spot in a global benchmarking test, edging out previous topnotcher Singapore, based on survey results released Tuesday.

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) assessed the performance of 15-year-old students in science, mathematics and reading from 79 education systems worldwide.

The assessment was determined via the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) survey conducted last year, according to the South China Morning Post.

Around 4,000 and 8,000 students from each education system were assessed this year. All students that took part in the triennial assessment registered a mean score of 489 points in science, 489 in math and 487 in reading in this year’s edition.

Randomly selected high school students from Chinese mainland cities Beijing, Shanghai, and provinces Jiangsu and Zhejiang came first in all three categories, scoring 590 points in science, 591 points in mathematics, and 555 points in reading.



Singapore students, which came first in the last survey in 2015, took the second spot, scoring 551, 569 and 549, in the same categories respectively.

Mainland Chinese students have outperformed their international counterparts “by a large margin” particularly in mathematics and science, noted OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria, in the report’s opening remarks.

Gurria pointed out, however, that while the four locales in which the students were assessed did not represent “China as a whole,” their sizes and make-up were comparable to a typical OECD country.

“What makes their achievement even more remarkable is that the level of income of these four Chinese regions is well below the OECD average. The quality of their schools today will feed into the strength of their economies tomorrow,” he was quoted as saying.

Among those which fell from their previous standing was Hong Kong, now ranking fourth in mathematics and reading, and ninth in science. Meanwhile, American students placed 18th in science 37th in mathematics, and 13th in reading.

Feature Image via Getty

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