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Programme for International Student Assessment 2009 (PISA 2009)

Research Question

As previous PISA waves, PISA 2009 aimed to measure how well students at age 15 are prepared to meet the challenges of today's knowledge societies and lifelong learning. Therefore, the PISA test tasks are based on knowledge and skills required for the application and acquisition of knowledge in private and professional daily life rather than on specific curricula.

As PISA 2000, PISA 2003 and PISA 2006, the PISA 2009 study assessed students' performance in the domains of reading, mathematics and science. The main focus of PISA 2009 was as in PISA 2000, on reading comprehension.

In addition further data were collected on student attitudes, the school context, demographic features, and information on social, cultural, and family background, just as in previous PISA assessments. Questionnaires to be filled in by teachers, school principals and parents were used to gather further relevant background characteristics.

The FDZ of the IQB provides national data of the international sample (PISA-I). The sample was extended by two entire classes of the 9th grade.

Test Language


Test Period


Test Area and International Link

National / International connection by the international sample

Target Persons

15-year-old students and students from classes of grade 9 at general education schools (including vocational track [Hauptschule] and special education schools)

Context Persons

German Teachers of the selected student and the principals of the selected schools

Population / Sample

Due to the subdivision of the German educational system by educational tracks in the federal states of Germany a multiply stratified sample of the schools was carried out.

Germany used the option of an additional grade-based sample. As a result, in addition to the internationally standard sample of 15-year-old school students drawn from the entire student body of a sample school, a further sample comprising two grade 9 classes per school is available

Sample Size

n= circa 10,000 target persons (all together)
n= circa 4,900 target persons (international sample)
n= circa 9,500 target persons (national sample)
n= circa 9,500 target persons (grade-based sample)
n= circa 6,000 target persons (age-based sample)

Survey Procedure and Instruments

Competence tests in German - reading comprehension (main focus), mathematics and natural sciences and questionnaires for students, teachers

Link to the Detailed Description of the Study
(only available in German)

Persistent Identifier

DOI: 10.5159/IQB_PISA_2009_v1

Data Accessible via Research Data Centre

To the Study Documentation at the FDZ at the IQB:

Information about the user conditions can be found here:

Documentation of Variables
(only available in German)


Monika Lacher
FDZ Secretary
Phone: +49 30 / 20 93 - 465 52
Email: fdz[at]

Selection of Publications using the Data

Klieme, E., Artelt, C., Hartig, J., Jude, N., Köller, O., Prenzel, M., Schneider, W. & Stanat, P. (Hrsg.). (2010). PISA 2009. Bilanz nach einem Jahrzehnt. Münster: Waxmann. Verfügbar unter [16.02.17] (in German)

Related Data

Programme for International Student Assessment 2000 (PISA 2000)
Programme for International Student Assessment 2003 (PISA 2003)
PISA-I-Plus 2003, 2004 (link)
Programme for International Student Assessment 2006 (PISA 2006)
IQB Ländervergleich Sprachen (National Assessment Study / language skills) 2008/2009 (IQB-LV 2008-9)

Research Area(s)