PIRLS 2021 International Results in Reading
Students’ Reading Attitudes and Behaviors
Students Confident in Reading
The PIRLS 2021 Students Confident in Reading scale asked students how much they agreed with six statements about how well they can read. Based on their responses, students were classified according to the degree of confidence they had in their own reading ability—“very confident in reading,” “somewhat confident in reading,” or “not confident in reading” (see “About the Scale”).
For the PIRLS 2021 countries, Exhibit 7.3 presents the percentages of students in each of the three categories of confidence in reading along with their average reading achievement. Internationally on average, 43 percent of students reported being “very confident in reading,” 35 percent of students were “somewhat confident in reading,” and 22 percent were “not confident in reading.”
The results of the PIRLS 2021 Students Confident in Reading scale show that the fourth grade students have an accurate self-assessment of their own level of reading skills as measured by PIRLS. Fourth grade students who reported being “very confident in reading” had relatively high average achievement (541), similar to almost reaching the High International Benchmark (550) of reading achievement (see report section on International Benchmarks). Those who were “somewhat confident in reading” had mid-range achievement on average (498), and those who were “not confident in reading” had an average achievement of 449, which falls short of reaching the Intermediate International Benchmark (475).
Exhibit 7.4 shows the results for the Students Confident in Reading scale separately for girls and for boys. On average, across countries, there was little difference between the percentages of girls and boys in each of the scale categories—46 percent of girls and 40 percent of boys reported being “very confident in reading,” 34 percent of girls and 35 percent of boys were “somewhat confident,” and 19 percent of girls and 25 percent of boys were “not confident.” However, there was considerable variation across countries in the magnitude of the difference between the percentage of girls and the percentage of boys classified as “very confident in reading,” ranging from little or no difference in Belgium (French), Hong Kong SAR, Denmark, Macao SAR, and Brazil to an 18 percentage point difference favoring girls in Saudi Arabia.