PISA - Grade Expectations: How Marks and Education Policies Shape Students’ Ambitions


Table of contentsHow to obtain this publicationRelated documents 


Grade expectations cover


978-92-64-18750-4 (print)
978-92-64-18752-8 (pdf)

Pages: 138
Language: English








PISA - Grade Expectations


This PISA report provides a first systematic attempt to examine the performance of students in school jointly with the expectations they have for their own educational future.

First of all, the range of educational expectations which the report reveals is striking: in Korea, four out of five 15-year-olds expect to graduate from university, while in Latvia it is just one out of four.

Second, given the changes in skill requirements in most labour-markets, and the rapidly rising number of university graduates, the educational expectations of students in school have remained surprisingly stable.

Third, while, overall, performance on PISA tends to be associated with educational expectations, the data show that not all 15-year-olds with advanced knowledge and skills aspire to high levels of further education and not all 15-year-olds who aspire to a university degree possess the knowledge and skills needed to pursue such pathways successfully. Such mismatches between expectations and actual abilities can result not just in personal disappointments but also incur important economic and social costs.

Table of contents

  • Chapter 1: What do students expect to do after upper secondary school?
  • Chapter 2: What behaviours do teachers reward?
  • Chapter 3: What is the relationship between marks and educational expectations?
  • Chapter 4: Policy recommendations
  • Annex A: The educational career questionnaire
  • Annex B: Data tables on educational expectations and marks

How to obtain this publication

  • Subscribers and readers at subscribing institutions can access the online editions via the OECD's ilibrary.
  • Non-subscribers can download the PDF e-book and can purchase the paper copies via our Online Bookshop.
  • Order from your local distributor.
  • Government officials with accounts (subscribe) can go to the "Books" tab on OLIS.

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