Humanities Indicators
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I-1h: International Reading Literacy of 15-Year-Olds, 2012*

* Jurisdictions are ranked by percentage of students scoring at Level 5 or above. Tasks at Level 5 “that involve retrieving information require the student to locate and organise several pieces of deeply embedded information, inferring which information in the text is relevant. Reflective tasks require critical evaluation or hypotheses, drawing on specialised knowledge. Both interpreting and reflective tasks require a full and detailed understanding of a text whose content or form is unfamiliar. For all aspects of reading, tasks at this level typically involve dealing with concepts that are contrary to expectations” ( For a list of nations where the share of students scoring at Level 5 or higher was not measurably different from that of the United States, click the “About the Data” button below.
** The OECD describes Level 2 as “a baseline level of proficiency at which students begin to demonstrate the reading literacy competencies that will enable them to participate effectively and productively in life” (
† Statistically significantly lower, at the .05 significance level, than the U.S. percentage of students at Level 1 or below. Other jurisdictions with lower percentages are Estonia, Macao (China), Poland, and Switzerland.

Source: OECD Program for International Student Assessment, “PISA 2012: Data Tables, Figures, and Exhibits,” tables R1 and R1b; and the PISA International Data Explorer.

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