YOUNG VOICES

UK Teenagers Are Among The Most Unhappy In The World, PISA Data Reveals

They are also seriously stressed about exams.

19/04/2017 12:42 BST

UK teens are among the most miserable in the world, new data has revealed. 

The UK was ranked 38th out of 48 countries based on how satisfied 15-year-olds are with their lives in a report by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). 

With a score of 6.98 out of ten, UK pupils rated themselves less happy than their peers in Lithuania (7.86), Russia (7.76) and Uruguay (7.70). 

martin-dm via Getty Images
UK teens are some of the least happy in the world, according to a new report 

Students in the Dominican Republic (8.50) are the happiest in the world, according to the report, closely followed by Mexico (8.27) and Costa Rica (8.21). 

UK students also reported some of the highest levels of exam-related stress across the globe. 

More than seven in ten (71.9%) of UK pupils said they feel “very anxious” about tests, even when they are well prepared. 

Ranked eighth in the world by PISA on this factor, New Zealand was the only OECD country with a higher student stress level (72%). 

“PISA results show that teachers’ practices, behaviour and communication in the classroom are associated with students’ levels of anxiety,” the report reads. 

PeopleImages via Getty Images
School pupils in the UK also suffer from high levels of anxiety over exams 

“After accounting for students’ performance and socio-economic status, students who reported that their science teachers adapt the lesson to the class’s needs and knowledge were less likely to report feeling anxious even if they are well prepared for a test, or to report that they get very tense when they study.” 

In all countries that participated in the study, girls reported greater anxiety about school work than boys. 

Only 47% of male teenagers said they felt very worried about exams they had revised for, compared to 64% of school girls. 

“One possible explanation may be that girls are less self-confident than boys and, as a result, experience more worry and discomfort before and during evaluations,” the study added.

PISA surveyed 540,000 students from 72 countries and economies to gather the results of its report.