The Value of Participating in PIRLS 2016

PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) provides valuable information that helps countries monitor and evaluate the success of their reading literacy education over time. PIRLS represents the worldwide standard for reading comprehension at the fourth grade.


PIRLS data allows countries to:

  • Monitor the effectiveness of their educational systems in a global context.
    PIRLS provides comprehensive and internationally comparable data about fourth grade student achievement in reading with respect to comprehension processes and two major purposes of reading (literary and informational). PIRLS also reports on attitudes students have learned by the fourth grade.
  • Evaluate progress in educational achievement over time from both international and national perspectives.
    If achievement results are low compared to other countries or lower than expected, countries can initiate new educational goals and policies to encourage improvement. Countries implementing educational changes typically look to future PIRLS assessment cycles to monitor improvement.
  • Work towards closing gaps in educational achievement and achieve equity among ethnic, social, or regional groups.
    A number of countries have made special efforts to reduce achievement disparities among groups of students. For example, it is efficient for countries to add questions of national importance (national options) or even oversample particular groups of students as part of their data collection effort.
  • Use the international database to research the factors associated with high achievement in reading literacy.
    Most countries have conducted research to better understand the school and classroom contexts in which students learn best, including variation in curricular, resource, administrative, and instructional policies.