Malta’s teenagers continue to rank poorly in maths, reading and science in a league table of 81 countries.

Despite being ranked slightly higher in all subjects than in the last edition in 2018, the country consistently scored below average and showed only marginal improvements when compared to its long-term trend of results over previous years.

Over 3,000 15-year-old students in Malta took part in the PISA tests from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which measure academic achievement among teenagers before they leave secondary school.

The results show Malta had a lower-than-average share of high-performing students and a higher-than-average share of low performers.

Singapore consistently ranked as the country with the highest performing teenagers in all three subjects, achieving scores of 575 points in maths, 543 in reading and 561 in science.

Cambodia, meanwhile, consistently scored lowest in all three subjects.

The highest-performing European country overall was Estonia, which was highest on the continent for maths (510 points) and science (526). Ireland, meanwhile, achieved the highest European score for reading with 516 points.


Malta achieved a mean score of 466 in maths, six points lower than the OECD average of 472.

This put the country in 33rd place for maths, a slight improvement from last time when it ranked 37th. In 2018, it achieved a mean score of 443. When compared to other countries in Europe, Malta’s maths results were just ahead of the Slovak Republic and Croatia by two and three points respectively. Meanwhile, it scored only two points lower than Norway and five lower than Italy.


Teenagers in Malta performed to the same level in science as they did in maths, achieving the same score of 466. This was almost 20 points lower than the OECD average of 485.

The result saw the country climb in the rankings by six places to 36th place when compared to 2018. Five years ago, students in Malta achieved a score of 428.

Compared to other European countries, Malta scored 11 points lower than Italy and only four points higher than the Slovak Republic. 


Achieving a mean score of 445, teenagers in Malta proved worse at reading than they did at maths or science.

The result put the country in 39th place, a slight improvement from 2018 when it scored 419 and ranked 43rd.

Compared to other European countries, Malta’s reading level among teenagers was comparable to the Slovak Republic (447 points) and Serbia (445).

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