The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) provides an opportunity to look at how students approach learning as well as how they perform in certain areas. This study analyzed PISA results, focusing on aspects of student motivation, self-belief, and use of various learning strategies that make it more likely that a student will become a confident and self-regulated learner. The self-regulated learning questionnaire for PISA 2000 was completed by 170,740 students in 22 OECD member countries and 4 other countries. The sampling procedure allows the findings to be generalized to the population of 15-year-olds in each participating country. PISA findings show a high degree of consistency within each country in the association between positive learning approaches and strong performance, and that students' attitudes play an important role alongside effective learning behavior. Students' approaches to learning have impact on performance beyond the effect of family background, and data show that a large amount of the variability in performance associated with student background is also associated with the fact that students from more advantaged backgrounds tend to have stronger characteristics as learners. Findings show that in general, countries face a similar situation with regard to student characteristics, so that no country can afford to ignore the existence of students with multiple weaknesses. The report cannot tell educational systems precisely how to address student weaknesses, but it does say that they need to gear the way they deal with students to address aspects of attitudes and learning behaviors and make these goals as central to their mission as cognitive instruction. Five annexes contain supplemental information, including data tables and PISA questionnaire items measuring student characteristics as learners.