PIRLS 2021

Progress in International Reading Literacy Study 2021

20 Years of Trends in Reading Achievement

IEA's PIRLS 2021 will be the fifth cycle in the PIRLS assessment. PIRLS provides internationally comparative data on how well children read by assessing students’ reading achievement at the fourth grade.

PIRLS collects considerable background information from the assessed students, their parents, teachers and school principals on how education systems provide educational opportunities to their students, as well as the factors that influence how students use these opportunities. Background data include information about: national curriculum policies in reading; how the education system is organized to facilitate learning; students’ home environment for learning; school climate and resources; and how instruction actually occurs in classrooms. Trend results across assessments permit countries to monitor the effectiveness of their educational systems in a global context.

The TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center at the Lynch School of Education, Boston College, United States, serves as the international study center for PIRLS 2021, working in close cooperation with IEA, and the national centers of participating countries.

For more information, please visit the PIRLS website.

PIRLS 2021 International Report and Results Release

On 16 May 2023, the TIMSS and PIRLS International Study Center at Boston College and IEA will publicly release the results of the PIRLS 2021 International Report. This latest cycle of PIRLS has been the only international large-scale assessment to collect data in the backdrop of school disruptions and closures due to COVID-19. For more information, go to the event page.

PIRLS 2021 Participants

In the face of school disruptions and closures due to COVID-19, PIRLS 2021 data collection extended over 22 months from October 2020 to July 2022, leading to three waves of data collection in the time period. 

Wave 1: March-June 2021
Albania, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium (French), Belgium (Flemish), Brazil, Bulgaria, Chinese Taipei, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Jordan, Kosovo, Macao, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Russian Federation (with Moscow City as a benchmarking entity), Serbia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Türkiye, and Uzbekistan.

Wave 2: August-December 2021

Bahrain, Canada (with Ontario and Quebec as benchmarking entities), Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Morocco,  Northern Ireland, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (with Abu Dhabi and Dubai as benchmarking entities), and United States. 

Wave 3: March-July 2022
England, Iran, and Israel.

Other participants: 


Data protection

All European countries participating in IEA studies are required to prepare Data Protection Declarations (DPD) to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of Europe and country-specific amendments of the law. Non-European countries participating in IEA studies may choose either to adapt and adopt the declaration or not to use it if not required by law. IEA provides Data Protection Declaration Templates to National Research Coordinators so that they may prepare, translate and adapt national versions. 

Major Publications
Reynolds, Katherine A. Wry, Erin Mullis, Ina V.S. von Davier, Matthias PIRLS 2021 Encyclopedia: Education Policy and Curriculum in Reading