PIRLS 2016 release

PIRLS and ePIRLS 2016 results released! The study finds reading literacy on the rise internationally.

The results of PIRLS 2016 demonstrate a number of positive developments in reading literacy worldwide. For the first time in the history of the study, as many as 96 percent of fourth graders from over 60 education systems achieved above the PIRLS low international benchmark. Out of 41 countries with comparative data from PIRLS 2011, 18 countries exhibited statistically significant improvements in students’ reading comprehension and 13 countries maintained their 2011 results. Since 2001, the reading achievement has improved in 11 countries, while the average results of students from Hong Kong, the Russian Federation, Singapore, and Slovenia have increased by more than 40 score points.

Links and downloads:

      Download the PIRLS 2016 release presentations:

Dr Dirk Hastedt, Executive Director, IEA, comments on the key findings of PIRLS 2016 and variations between PIRLS and ePIRLS 2016 results:

The PIRLS 2016 release at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.

The international release of the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2016, co-hosted by UNESCO and the International Association for Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, explored how the trends identified by PIRLS 2016 could help monitor the progress toward targets of Sustainable Development Goal 4, quality education for all. To accompany the release of the PIRLS and ePIRLS 2016 international reports, UNESCO and IEA have prepared a joint booklet exemplifying how the rich array of achievement and background data delivered by large-scale assessments, such as PIRLS, can help participating education systems assess national policies in education and learning, as well as provide further insights into progress toward the indicators of the SDG 4 monitoring framework.

Links and downloads:

  • Download the IEA-UNESCO booklet „Measuring SDG 4: how PIRLS can help“ in English and French.
  • Download the infographics in English and French.

Dr Dirk Hastedt, Executive Director, IEA, comments on the IEA’s cooperation with UNESCO:


Measuring SDG4 with PIRLS data: UNESCO and IEA to co-host international release of PIRLS 2016

The release event of the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2016 will focus on the latest trends in reading achievement of the fourth graders from over 60 countries and the contribution of the study to the measurement of progress toward the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically the targets of SDG4. On occasion of the study release, participants will be presented with a booklet with a series of SDG 4 relevant analyses of the PIRLS data, jointly produced by IEA and UNESCO.

The event, co-hosted by UNESCO and IEA at 10 a.m. CET on 5 December at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, will comprise a press conference and a roundtable event.

The press conference will evolve around PIRLS and ePIRLS 2016 main findings introduced by Dr Dirk Hastedt, Executive Director of IEA, and presented by Drs Ina V.S. Mullis and Michael O. Martin, Executive Directors of IEA's TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center at Boston College. The IEA experts will welcome questions from journalists and individual interviews during the break.

Moderated by Ms Soo-Hyang Choi, Director of UNESCO Division of Peace and Sustainable Development, the 90-minute roundtable will introduce the participants to the relevance of the PIRLS and ePIRLS results for policymaking, the application of large-scale assessments to measure SDG 4, and actions needed to translate the Education 2030 Agenda commitments into action across national education systems. The discussion will focus on three thematic areas relevant to the advancement toward SDG 4, including school environment, gender disadvantage, and early childhood education as a foundation for learning.

Download the event concept note in English and French.
Join the event via webcast in English, French, and at Floor (live casting).

Our speakers and panelists:

Dr Anne-Berit Kavli, Chair IEA
Dr Dirk Hastedt, Executive Director, IEA
Dr Ina Mullis, Executive Director, TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center, Boston College
Dr Michael Martin, Executive Director, TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center,  Boston College
Dr Paulína Koršňáková, Senior Research and Liaison Adviser, IEA
Dr Qian Tang, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO
Ms Soo-Hyang Choi, Director of the Division for Inclusion, Peace and Sustainable Development, UNESCO
Dr Silvia Montoya, Director, UNESCO Institute for Statistics
Dr Jyotsna Jha, Director, Center for Budget and Policy Studies (CBPS), India
Dr Catherine Jere, Lecturer, University of East Anglia, School of International Development 

PIRLS provides internationally comparative data on how well children read by assessing students’ reading achievement at the end of grade four. PIRLS 2016 is the fourth cycle of the study and collects considerable background information on how education systems provide educational opportunities to their students, as well as the factors that influence how students use this opportunity. In 2016 PIRLS was extended to include ePIRLS – an innovative assessment of online reading.

For more information, please visit http://on.unesco.org/SDG4pirls

Media advisory by UNESCO and IEA

Question, queries? Contact us: pirls2016_launch [at] iea.nl (subject: PIRLS%202016%20release)

Press queries: Ms Anna Kaehne, Public Outreach Officer a.kaehne [at] iea.nl (subject: PIRLS%202016%20release)