Battle of the Brainiacs: Girls and Foreign Students The Most Motivated

It's battle of the brainiacs, and Aussies (well, a select few) are among the winners.

Foreign students and girls are the most motivated students in Australia, according to new research which also found Aussie students have the highest levels of motivation worldwide.

Australian students reported higher levels of motivation than 26 of the other 35 OECD countries that participated in the study.

But female, non-Indigenous and high socioeconomic status and metropolitan students were generally more motivated than other students, with foreign-born students having higher motivation levels than Australian-born students.

But motivation doesn't necessarily mean they're virtual brainiacs -- it just means that they at least strive to be.

The report, released by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) found that high levels of motivation do not necessarily correspond to high academic performance.

The report also found that disadvantage significantly impacts on the levels of motivation among students.

"The data show that disadvantage continues to negatively affect Australian students, with those from Indigenous and low socioeconomic status backgrounds, and those in regional and remote areas, less motivated to achieve academically," ACER Deputy CEO Dr Sue Thomson said.

Aussie students are among the most motivated in the world.

"This is important because motivation to achieve plays a key role in educational success, and in an individual’s drive to set and attain education and career goals.”

Motivation was also determined by geography, with students in NSW reporting the highest levels of motivation while Tasmania had the lowest.

The report analysed data produced by the 2015 PISA survey, a three-yearly study of literacy levels of more than half a million 15-year-olds across 72 countries, including 14 500 students in Australian schools.