PISA will release its results in two months and the whole world holds its breath and waits. PISA is an assessment that focuses on the cognitive skills of the 15-year-olds students. The results of the 2012 survey show the continuous improvements of the Asian countries which now outperform the rest of the world. There are certainly some critics regarding this survey, but the rigor used in all the steps is unanimously acknowledged and hailed. A large number of statisticians have been involved, particularly in the survey design, and some complex methods have been used. It is a powerful and reliable instrument that enables researches but also students drawn from a broad range of disciplines including statistics, education sciences, economics, to conduct studies connected with education.  TIMSS is an equally important survey designed to measure the 4th and 8th grade students' ability in mathematics and science. A large number of Arab countries are participating to this survey.  Special attention should then be given to gain a better understanding of the causes of the poor academic performance of students and various actions that should be taken in order to improve students’ cognitive skills.