Japanese students ranked third for their ability to use reading skills to solve real-life problems in an international learning assessment test in 2022, climbing significantly from 15th place in 2018, a global survey showed Tuesday.

In the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's computer-based test of 15-year-olds in 81 countries and economies, Japan also advanced from the previous survey to second, from fifth, in science and to fifth, from sixth, in mathematics.

With the latest survey targeting students affected by the coronavirus pandemic, an analysis by a Japanese education ministry official suggested that shorter school closures in Japan than in other countries may have influenced the results, while also pointing to the effectiveness of exploratory learning and interactive teaching methods that have gained ground.