Students in Manitoba scored last in the country in math and science, and second-last in reading skills, according to student test results released today.

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results show that test scores in Manitoba are among the worst in Canada. The trend of low scores has been a common theme in the province for a decade.

Since the last PISA assessment in 2015, Manitoba test scores have gotten worse in every category. The 2015 results ranked Manitoba second last in the country when it came to science and reading, and third last in math.

The PISA assessment tests the skills of 15-year-old in math, reading, and science by conducting a two-hour computer-based test.

The only province that ranks lower in reading skills is New Brunswick where 22 percent (compared to Manitoba’s 20 percent) of students tested ranked as “low achievers” in reading, meaning that their results “do not reach the baseline level of reading proficiency that is required to participate fully in modern society.”


Manitoba performed even worse in math and science.



Manitoba had the largest percentage of low achievers in math at 25 percent and in science at 21 percent. The average percentage of low achievers in Canada is 16 percent in math and 13 percent in science. Students in Manitoba are performing below the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average in both subjects.

The PISA tests were done in April and May of last year and tested almost 3,000 students in the province. Overall 22,000 Canadian students took part in the international test, which is conducted in 79 countries.

The PISA tests are done every three years and are one of two tests that are typically used to compare the skills of Manitoba students to those of their Canadian peers.