Shanghai again ranked first in math, science and reading in the three-yearly report by the Paris-based OECD, based on surveys of more than half a million 15-year-olds in 65 countries.

Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea rounded out the top five in math skills.

Dubbed the World Cup of education, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report is the single largest study of global schooling.

It is highly influential among education officials, with participating countries representing more than 80% of the global economy and often adapting policy in response to the findings.

Shanghai's top rankings means its students are the equivalent of three years of schooling ahead of their counterparts with average scores, including those of many wealthy Western countries like Britain and France. - Bangkok Post