PIRLS 2021

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PIRLS 2021 is the fifth cycle of the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study. Since 2021, PIRLS has provided high-quality data for monitoring progress in students’ reading achievement at the fourth grade, covering 20 years of trends. The PIRLS reading assessment is based on a comprehensive framework that focuses on two overarching purposes for reading — for literary experience and to acquire and use information. PIRLS 2021 results provide descriptions of students’ reading skills and strategies at four international benchmarks on the PIRLS reading achievement scale for meaningful interpretation of reading achievement scores.

Results Highlights from PIRLS 2021

PIRLS 2021 Results Video

Watch the video of highlights from the PIRLS 2021 international results.

Video Examples of the PIRLS 2021 Texts and Items

Video examples of one Literary text, The Empty Pot, and two Informational texts, Oceans (ePIRLS task) and The Amazing Octopus, can be viewed below. The videos show each text in its entirety, together with its items.

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The Empty Pot

Digital PIRLS Literary

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ePIRLS Online Informational

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The Amazing Octopus

Digital PIRLS Informational

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Take the ePIRLS Assessment

In ePIRLS online informational reading tasks, students navigate through simulated webpages containing text, graphics, links, pop-up windows, and animations to complete school-like assignments. Try out this assessment of online informational reading yourself with two ePIRLS tasks, Zebra and Wildebeest Migration and The Legend of Troy.

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The PIRLS 2021 Reading Assessment Framework and PIRLS 2021 Context Questionnaire Framework provide the foundation for the PIRLS 2021 assessment.

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The PIRLS 2021 Encyclopedia: Education Policy and Curriculum in Reading contains exhibits that summarize aspects of countries’ education systems and a chapter provided by each country describing its reading curriculum and instruction.

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Methods and Procedures

The Methods and Procedures: PIRLS 2021 Technical Report documents the development of the PIRLS assessments and questionnaires and describes the methods used in sampling, translation verification, data collection, database construction, and the construction of the achievement and context questionnaire scales.

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International Database

The PIRLS 2021 International Database includes student achievement data as well as student, home, teacher, school, and national context data for the 57 countries and eight benchmarking entities in PIRLS 2021. The international database is available for researchers to conduct their own secondary analyses with PIRLS 2021 data.

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Context Questionnaires

The PIRLS 2021 Student, Home, Teacher, and School Questionnaires collect important information from students and their parents, teachers, and school principals about the contexts for teaching and learning reading. The Curriculum Questionnaire collects information from the PIRLS National Research Coordinators about the structure of the education system and organization and implementation of the reading curriculum in each country.