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New Brunswick made slight gains in the latest series of international tests. ((CBC))

New Brunswick's education system has made small gains in an international assessment but the province is still far from head of the class. 

The Programme for International Student Assessment study, which tests 15-year-old students in 65 countries every three years, looked at student performance in math, reading and science.

The results were released on Tuesday and demonstrated that Canada is doing well among the 65 countries assessed.

But among the provinces, New Brunswick remains below the country's average in all three areas.

New Brunswick, for example, is eighth in reading up from 10th in 2000.

Education Minister Jody Carr said he believes there is even greater room for improvement in future tests.

"Literacy results are expected to continue to improve for both the anglophone and francophone sectors, as the first group of students who  received the full benefit of the early literacy initiatives starting in 2004 will write PISA assessments in 2012," Carr said in a statement.

New Brunswick saw its rank in math improve to seventh from ninth. And in science, the province's students saw their ranking move to ninth from 10th.

On a national level, the PISA results showed Canada had scored its best in reading, earning sixth place behind Shanghai-China, Korea, Finland, Hong Kong-China and Singapore.

On a regional level, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia tied with four other jurisdictions for second place in reading, following Shanghai-China.