The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) was hosted and launched by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) at the turn of the new century. It is a worldwide study conducted every three years, and is designed to assess 15-year-old students’ core competencies and the factors that influence their acquisition. Also, it compares and evaluates the relative effectiveness of the education provided by the participating countries or economies. The Educational Testing and Assessment Research Centre (ETARC) of the University of Macau utilizes the international exchange and cooperation platform created by PISA to guide schools in Macao to refer to the successful experiences of participating countries/economies for the betterment of basic education in Macao. Specifically they are guided continuously promoting education reform as well as conducting self-improvement and teaching interventions from the perspective of international and comparative education. Over the years, ETARC has accumulated a large quantity of research findings, developed a database on Macao’s basic education, and published a series of research reports on Macao students’ development of core literacies. These data and information not only are of paramount importance for informed policy making on Macao’s educational reform but also help elevate instructional effectiveness of Macao schools in the long run. Amongst the 79 countries/economies participated in PISA 2018, Macao’s 15-year-old students ranked third in all the three core literacies assessed, i.e. reading, mathematics and science. This is the best results that Macao ever attained across the past six cycles of PISA assessment conducted since 2003. Moreover, the percentage of 15-year-olds reaching baseline level in all the three core literacies assessed ranked second in the world. Worthy of mention is that OECD pointed out that Macao is the only basic education system amongst participating countries/economies exhibiting not only high academic quality but also fast educational progress over the years in the past decade.