Vietnam among top science performers in global students' test

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 A classroom in Tran Van On High School, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam finished in the top five in science at the OECD's Program for International Student Assessment

Vietnamese students recorded top ten scores in science tests in the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA tests, held globally every three years by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The 2012 results, announced Tuesday, ranked Vietnam eighth out of 65 participating countries and territories in science literacy.

The test measured the reading, math, and science skills and knowledge of more than 500,000 15-year-olds.

Andreas Schleicher, who administers the tests, highlighted the "star performance" of Vietnam, which took part for the first time, and the BBC reported it outperformed many wealthy western countries, including the US.

Shanghai topped the ranking, followed by Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, and Finland.

Asian students also took the top five in math and reading tests in which Vietnam respectively ranked 17th and 19th.

First administered in 2000, PISA tests are often used to assess the effectiveness and quality of countries' education systems.

In Vietnam, PISA tests were held in several provinces in May 2011.

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