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Students in German-speaking Switzerland are outperforming their classmates in the French- and Italian-speaking regions of the country, according to just-published results of the 2006 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study.

Findings from the triennial survey of 400,000 15-year-old students from around the globe revealed those in Switzerland's German-speaking cantons were at the top of their class in each of the three subjects examined: math, science and reading.

The canton of Schaffhausen walked away with top scores in each subject.

Switzerland ranked 6th in mathematics, out of 57 countries participating in the study. It ranked 4th, topped by the Netherlands, Korea and Finland, among the 30 OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries included.

All Swiss students excelled globally in math. Those students in the German-speaking cantons, however, also surpassed their Swiss peers with an average score of 535 compared to 528 and 523 from the French and Italian regions, respectively, versus the OECD mean of 498.

Canton Schaffhausen earned the nation's highest marks in math, with a score of 563 versus Canton Geneva's 507.

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