They rank second in the world, and number one among EU and OECD countries.
Irish students are among the world's top literary readers.
15-year-olds here are number one among all EU and OECD countries, and second globally after Singapore.
Test results for science and maths in the global 'PISA' project were deemed to be 'above average.'
However, the number of 'high achieving' students in these areas was 'average' or 'below average.'
170 schools around the country took part in the study, including 15 in Laois, Offaly and Westmeath.
Education Minister Norma Foley says her Department is looking at ways to support these high-achieving students better: