Finland's position has slipped in the OECD's comparison of test results from teenagers in 65 countries and regions, the Programme for International Student Assessment (or PISA). The figures were released at noon Finnish time on Tuesday.
Finland dropped to 12th in maths, which was the focus of this year's tests. The last time this was the theme was a decade ago.
Asian cities and countries took the top five places. In Europe, Finland ranks lower than Liechtenstein, Switzerland, the Netherlands and neighbouring Estonia. Coming in fifth of the European nations, it was still clearly the best-rated of the five Nordic countries, with Denmark quite a bit further down the league table. Neighbouring Sweden, for instance, placed lower than the United States.
However, Finland ranked best in Europe in the other two categories: reading and science.
The annualised changes in score points were not flattering to Finland. In mathematics, Finnish pupils’ scores were down by 2.8 percent, reading by 1.7 percent and science by three percent. However Finland remained among the top five performers in science -- making it the only European country to place in the top five in any category.