PIRLS 2011

Progress in International Reading Literacy Study 2011

PIRLS 2011 offered a state-of-the-art assessment of reading comprehension that allowed the countries that participated in the earlier PIRLS cycles to measure changes in achievement since 2001. The study also examined countries’ national policies and practices related to literacy. A set of questionnaires for students, parents/caregivers, teachers, and school principals collected data on the experiences that young children have at home and school when learning to read. PIRLS 2011 was the third assessment after PIRLS 2001 and PIRLS 2006.

In 2011, countries had the option of participating in the first offering of prePIRLS, a less difficult version of PIRLS. This study assessed basic reading skills as a bridge to PIRLS, in order to meet the needs of countries in which most children in the fourth grade are still developing fundamental reading skills. In countries where students were more likely to have developed the reading comprehension competencies necessary for success on PIRLS by the fifth or sixth grade, the IEA encouraged participation in PIRLS at those grades.

The TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center at the Lynch School of Education, Boston College, United States, served as the international study center for both PIRLS 2011 and prePIRLS, working in close cooperation with the IEA, and the national centers of participating countries.

For more information, including in-depth reports and analyses, please visit the PIRLS 2011 website.

TIMSS was also conducted during 2011. To learn more about this study, please visit the TIMSS 2011 page.

Target Population

The PIRLS 2011 target population is the grade that represents four years of schooling, counting from the first year of ISCED Level 1, which corresponds to the fourth grade in most countries.


PIRLS 2011 Participants

Total number of education systems participating in PIRLS 2011: 56

Australia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Belgium, French; Botswana, prePIRLS; Bulgaria; Canada; Canada (Alberta); Canada (Ontario); Canada (Quebec); Chinese Taipei; Colombia, prePIRLS; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; England; Finland; France; Georgia; Germany; Honduras; Hong Kong SAR; Hungary; Indonesia; Iran; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Kuwait; Lithuania; Malta; Morocco; Netherlands; New Zealand; Northern Ireland; Norway; Oman; Poland; Portugal; Qatar; Romania; Russian Federation; Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of; Singapore; Slovak Republic; Slovenia; South Africa prePIRLS; Spain; Spain (Andalusia); Sweden; Trinidad and Tobago; United Arab Emirates; United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi); United Arab Emirates, (Dubai); United States; and United States (Florida).

Benchmarking entities are listed in brackets.



Major Publications
Mullis, Ina V.S. Martin, Michael O. Foy, Pierre Drucker, Kathleen T. PIRLS 2011 International Results in Reading
Mullis, Ina V.S. Martin, Michael O. Kennedy, Ann M. Trong, Kathleen L. Sainsbury, Marian PIRLS 2011 Assessment Framework
Mullis, Ina V.S.
Martin, Michael O.
Minnich, Chad A.
Drucker, Kathleen T.
Ragan, Moira A.
PIRLS 2011 Encyclopedia