Results of PIRLS 2016 (4th Graders) have just come out (h/t Polish Perspective).
The official website is somewhat of a pain to navigate, and there doesn’t appear to be any single master report, but fortunately they left their root directory unblocked so you can just look at all the charts and Excel tables here:
Unlike PISA, which sets 500 as the OECD mean (members at the time the test was started) – which is also conveniently almost the same as British average IQ (Greenwich mean) – TIMSS/PIRLS sets it as the blank international average. According to my back of the envelope calculation, the mean OECD value would be around 543. The S.D. is the usual 100 points.
Anyhow, Russia tops the chart, getting an IQ equivalent score of almost 106 according to the scale above, higher even than Singapore. Ireland, Finland, Poland around 103. United States 101. The Netherlands, Australia, Czechia, and Canada are around 100. Georgia 92. Azerbaijan at 89. Saudi Arabia (and Iran) at 83, with the other Gulf Arab states clustering around that level too. Morocco 72. Egypt 68. South Africa 66. Moscow gets an amazing score of 110, a difference of around 4.5 points between the capital and Russia as a whole (in PISA it’s closer to 7 points).
That said, I wouldn’t draw too many conclusions from this. First, TIMSS/PIRLS is more of a specifically academic test than an IQ test. Second, these are fourth graders, so even small differences in average age at testing should translate into bigger differences in academic performance (and in fact Russian kids are some of the oldest here, average age of 10.8 years; Poles are almost as old at 10.7 years; Finns were at 10.8; typical age was in the low 10.0′s; the bad performing Georgians were some of the very youngest at 9.7 years). Third, sample sizes are lower than for PISA.
Here are the historical scores of this round’s participants.
|Hong Kong SAR||528||564||571||569|
|Iran, Islamic Rep. of||414||421||457||428|
|Trinidad and Tobago||436||471||479|
|United Arab Emirates||439||450|
|Eng/Afr/Zulu – RSA (5)||350||406|
|Abu Dhabi, UAE||424||414|