Teens in Shanghai spend 14 hours a week on homework, while students in Finland spend only three. And although there are some educational theorists who argue for reducing or abolishing homework, more homework seems to be helping students with test scores.
That’s according to a new report on data the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development collected from countries and regions that participate in a standardized test to measure academic achievement for 15-year-olds, the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).
Hours of Homework Assigned Weekly to 15-Year-Olds
(It should be noted that while Shanghai scored highest on the 2012 PISA mathematics test, Shanghai is not representative of all of mainland China, and the city received criticism for only testing a subset of 15-year-olds to skew scores higher.)
While there are likely many other factors that contribute to student success, homework assigned can be an indicator of PISA test scores for individuals and individual schools, the report notes. In the individual schools in some regions—Hong Kong, Japan, Macao, and Singapore—that earned the highest math scores in 2012, students saw an increase of 17 points or more per extra hour of homework.