ICILS. International Computer and Information Literacy Study

Overview of ICILS

ICILS was designed to respond to a question of critical interest today: How well are students prepared for study, work, and life in the digital age? The study measures international differences in students’ computer and information literacy (CIL). This type of literacy refers to students’ ability to use computers to investigate, create, and communicate in order to participate effectively at home, at school, in the workplace, and in the community. The study collects a rich array of data from students in the study’s target grade in order to enable investigation of the factors that influence this suite of abilities in these students. This information provides education systems and policymakers with an important data source on the contexts and outcomes of CIL-related education programs.

Target population

The ICILS target population comprises students in their eighth year of schooling. In most education systems, the eighth year of schooling is Grade 8, provided that the average age of students in this grade is 13.5 years or above. In education systems where the average age in Grade 8 is below 13.5, Grade 9 is defined as the ICILS target population.


The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) in Melbourne serves as the international study center for ICILS. ACER is responsible for designing and implementing the study in close cooperation with the IEA, and the national centers of participating countries.

ICILS 2018

ICILS 2018 is linked directly to ICILS 2013, allowing countries that participated in the previous cycle to monitor changes over time in CIL achievement and its teaching and learning contexts. For first-time participants, ICILS sheds light on the contexts and outcomes of ICT-related education programs, and the role of schools and teachers in supporting students’ computer and information literacy achievement.

ICILS 2018 will also report on the computational thinking domain, understood as the process of working out exactly how computers can help us solve problems. This domain includes not only programming but also structuring and manipulating data sets.


2015:        Framework revision and instrument development

2016:        Establishment of testing platform, finalization of framework and instruments

2017:        Field trial

2018:        Main survey data collection

2019:        Reporting

Participating countries

Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Korea, Luxembourg, Portugal, Russian Federation (Moscow), Uruguay, and the United States.

To enquire about current and future projects, please contact the secretariat [at] iea.nl (subject: The%20International%20Computer%20and%20Information%20Literacy%20Study) (IEA).

For more information, please visit the ICILS 2018 website.

Assessment Framework

ICILS 2023

ICILS 2023 will be linked directly to ICILS 2013 and 2018. Please see the ICILS 2023 flyer for further details.