PIRLS 2011 Released Passages and Items

The PIRLS Assessment

The PIRLS and prePIRLS 2011 reading assessments were based on the PIRLS 2011 Assessment Framework and were developed through an international consensus-building process involving input from experts in education, reading, and measurement. The development of the PIRLS passages, items, and scoring guides were the result of a widespread and intensive process of collaboration, piloting, and review among the participating countries. The tests contain questions requiring students to select appropriate responses or to answer questions in a constructed-response format.

The PIRLS and prePIRLS 2011 passages and items were prepared in English and translated into many other languages for use in participating countries around the world. In translating the tests or making adaptations for cultural purposes, every effort was made to ensure that the meaning and difficulty of the passages and items did not change. This process required an enormous effort by the national centers, with many checks made along the way including a rigorous translation verification process.

The released passages and items are provided along with item documentation about each item (such as ID number, item number, purpose for reading and process of comprehension, and key). Scoring guides are provided for constructed-response items. In addition, the percent of students who responded correctly to the item in each country is provided.

More information on the assessment design, general scoring method used for PIRLS, and item release policy can be found in Assessment Framework and Instrument Development on the Methods and Procedures in TIMSS and PIRLS 2011 webpage.

Get Adobe Reader The PIRLS 2011 Released Items are available in Portable Document Format (PDF). If needed, click here to download Adobe Reader® to read and print these materials.

Copyright Notice

TIMSS and PIRLS are registered trademarks of IEA. Use of these trademarks without permission of IEA by others may constitute trademark infringement. Furthermore, the website and its contents, together with all online and/or printed publications and released items by TIMSS, PIRLS, and IEA are and will remain the copyright of IEA.

All publications and released items by TIMSS, PIRLS, and IEA, as well as translations thereof, are for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes only. Prior notice is required when using IEA data sources for assessments or learning materials. IEA reserves the right to refuse copy deemed inappropriate or not properly sourced.

Commercial exploitation, distribution, redistribution, reproduction and/or transmitting in any form or by any means, including electronic or mechanical methods such as photocopying, information storage and retrieval system of these publications, released items, translations thereof and/or part thereof are prohibited unless written permission has been provided by IEA.

When quoting and/or citing from one or more publications and/or released items from TIMSS, PIRLS, and IEA for the sake of educational or research purposes, please print an acknowledgment of the source, including the year and name of that publication and/or released item. Please use the following acknowledgment as an example:

SOURCE: TIMSS 2007 Assessment. Copyright © 2009 International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). Publisher: TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center, Lynch School of Education, Boston College.

Please note that citing without naming the source can or will constitute plagiarism for which you can and will be held accountable. To request permission to reuse, reproduce, or translate IEA material, please fill out the permission request form »


Please note that the website and its contents, together with all online and/or printed publications and released items (‘works’) by TIMSS, PIRLS, and IEA, were created with the utmost care. However, the correctness of the information cannot be guaranteed at all times and IEA cannot and will not be held responsible or liable for any damages that may arise from the use of these resources, nor will IEA be liable for the wrongful use and/or interpretation of its works.

Please be advised that IEA cannot authorize the use of texts or items that include third- party copyrighted materials (e.g., reading passages, photographs, images). Users of any third-party copyrighted materials must first seek and be granted copyright permission from the owner of the content as indicated in the copyright citation line.

To view or download one or more of the released item sets, please use the links below.