Minimum proficiency levels : described, unpacked and illustrated. Version 2

Publication Date



Minimum competencies, Reading achievement, Mathematics achievement, Lower primary years, Upper primary years, Lower secondary years, Definitions, Student assessment, Developing countries, International programs


This paper was developed as a contribution by ACER-GEM in support of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) led the Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (GAML).

Report no. GAML6/REF/2

This report has been archived here.


This document draws together work from several initiatives to establish Minimum Proficiency Levels (MPLs) for mathematics and reading for children and young people: (a) in grades 2/3; (b) at the end of primary; and (c) at the end of lower secondary, for global use in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goal in Education, SDG Goal 4.1, Indicator 4.1.1. The remaining part of this paper presents recommendations for the MPLs, first for reading and then for mathematics, for the three educational levels. The MPLs are described and elaborated in four ways: nutshell statements, expanded statements, descriptors by construct, and sample items.

Place of Publication

Montreal, Canada


UNESCO Institute for Statistics