Thinking it through: Australian students’ skills in creative problem solving

Schools Teenagers Students Creative ability Australia

This study finds that Australian 15-year-olds are more likely to persevere with challenging problems than some of their peers in high-performing countries.


In every Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey, students from every participating country are assessed in the core domains of mathematics, science and reading literacy. In addition to assessing these literacy domains, the OECD proposes additional assessments in other domains. In PISA 2003, a paper-based assessment of cross-disciplinary problem solving was first assessed, when it was included as a core domain. In PISA 2012, problem solving was once again assessed, this time as an optional computer-based assessment.

The focus of the PISA 2012 assessment of problem solving was: Are today’s 15-year-old students acquiring the problem-solving skills that will prepare them to meet the challenges of the future? This report describes how PISA defines and measures problem solving, and presents the performance of Australian students in problem solving.

Publication Details