(CNN) — When it comes to mathematics, reading and science, young people in Shanghai are the best in the world, according to a global education survey released Tuesday.
In all three subjects, Shanghai students demonstrated knowledge and skills equivalent to at least one additional year of schooling than their peers in countries like the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom.
In math, Shanghai had the highest score with 613 points — the equivalent of nearly three years of schooling above the average for the 34 OECD member countries of 494, and six years above Peru which ranked last with a score of 368. The city also came top in 2009 rankings.
Singapore came second in mathematics with a score of 573, followed by Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Macau.
The United States ranked 36th, performing below the OECD average in mathematics with 481 points, and a score indistinguishable from the average for reading and science.
Part of the reason pupils do so well in Shanghai, according to the OECD’s deputy director of education, Andreas Schleicher, is that they have the drive and confidence to fulfill their potential.
“In China and Shanghai, you have nine out of ten students telling you, ‘It depends on me. If I invest the effort, my teachers are going to help me to be successful’,” Schleicher told CNN’s On China program, which will air later this month.
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