All good readers are the same, but every low-skilled reader is different: an eye-tracking study using PISA data

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PISA results show that a considerable number of 15-year-old pupils after 8 to 10 years of schooling have a low level of functional reading literacy, as defined in the PISA framework. While PISA results help identify the level of reading competency, they do not reveal what might be the reasons why some students fail to solve the tasks. One way to explore the difficulties students encounter while solving PISA reading tasks is to track their eye movements during reading. The main aim of this study was to explore the similarities and differences in eye movement patterns between students with high and low scores on PISA reading tasks. A sample of 92 students took part in the pre-test, which was based on PISA items, and administered to identify groups of students with high and low PISA reading scores. Based on student pre-test results, 20 students were selected for the main, eye-tracking test—10 participants with low scores and 10 with high scores. The eye-tracking test consisted of four different released PISA reading tasks, three of them continuous and one non-continuous. The continuous items were followed by one multiple-choice question each at L1, L2, and L3 levels of difficulty. The non-continuous text was followed by three multiple-choice questions (also L1–L3). Three main findings were the following: regarding saccadic amplitudes, the reading was found to be less fluent for the low-skilled group; according to the heat maps, they had difficulty finding the relevant material; and taking into account standard deviations of eye-tracking measures, the variability was found to be larger in this group. Taken together, the findings of this study show that the PISA results differentiating low- and high-scoring groups go hand in hand with insights from more fine-grained eye-tracking measurements.


  • Ksenija Krstić
  • Anđela Šoškić
  • Vanja Ković
  • Kenneth Holmqvist
Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • University of Belgrade

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Didaktik
  • Psykologi (exklusive tillämpad psykologi)


Sidor (från-till)521-541
Antal sidor21
TidskriftEuropean Journal of Psychology of Education
Utgåva nummer3
StatusPublished - 2018 jul 1
Peer review utfördJa