TIMSS 2019 Fact Sheet

Long title
Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study
Frequency of data collection
Every 4 years
Previous cycles
1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015
  • 2016 and 2017: framework and instrument development
  • 2017 (May): eTIMSS pilot/item equivalence study
  • 2018 (March–May): field test
  • 2018 (September–December): data collection, Southern Hemisphere
  • 2019 (March-June): data collection, Northern Hemisphere
  • 2020 (December): release of international results
  • 2021 (February): release of international database and user guide
  • Monitor system-level trends in student achievement in mathematics and science at Grades 4 and 8 in a global context
  • Inform educational policy and monitor the impact of new or revised policies
  • Identify any underperforming areas and stimulate curriculum reform
  • Observe the performance of fourth-grade cohort of the previous cycle at eight grades in the next cycle
  • Gather important information about the home and school contexts for teaching and learning in relation to students’ achievement in mathematics and science
  • Compare education systems worldwide in terms of their organization, curricula, instructional resources, and practices related to their students’ achievement, thus allowing them to learn from the experiences of others in designing effective education policy
Assessment domain(s)
  • Mathematics
  • Science
Study framework (summary)

The mathematics and science curriculum (overarching concept)

  • As intended to be taught—intended curriculum
  • As implemented in the classroom—implemented curriculum
  • As learned by students—achieved curriculum

The mathematics assessment framework 

  • Content dimension
  • Cognitive dimension

 The science assessment framework

  • Content dimension
  • Cognitive dimension

 The contextual framework

  • Community and national policies
  • Home context
  • School context
  • Classroom context
  • Student attitudes towards learning


TIMSS 2019 begins the transition to conducting eTIMSS, an assessment in digital format. As far as the framework is concerned, eTIMSS 2019 included additional problem solving and inquiry (PSI) tasks in mathematics and science at both the fourth and the eighth grades.


TIMSS 2015 saw the introduction of a less difficult version in mathematics at grade 4 known as “TIMSS Numeracy” and continued in 2019 under the name of “Less difficult TIMSS”. The framework for the less difficult version is the same as for regular TIMSS.

Participating entities


64 countries and 8 benchmarking entities


Each grade

  • Grade 4: 58 countries and 6 benchmarking entities
  • Grade 8: 39 countries and 7 benchmarking entities



Countries participating, including some distinctive education systems within countries that have always participated separately:  Albania, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium (Flemish), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, England, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Hungary, Islamic Rep. of Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Rep. of Korea, Kosovo, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Northern Ireland, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United States


Benchmarking participants (i.e., regional jurisdictions)

Ontario, Canada; Quebec, Canada; Moscow City, Russian Federation; Gauteng, South Africa; Western Cape, South Africa; Madrid, Spain; Abu Dhabi, UAE; Dubai, UAE


Target population and sample (summary)

Target population (students)

All students enrolled at the fourth grade and all students enrolled at the eighth grade, counting from the first year of primary schooling.


Sample (students)

  • Per country: at least 150 schools, one or more classes per grade, approx. 4,000 students’ total
  • Countries transitioning to eTIMSS require an additional sample of at least 1,500 tested students for the bridge data collection
Data collection techniques and instruments (summary)

Large-scale assessments of student achievement(all version)

  • Mathematics and science, fourth grade
  • Mathematics and science, eighth grade
  • With 14 booklets per grade and matrix sampling design


Background questionnaires

  • Student questionnaire
  • Teacher questionnaire
  • School questionnaire
  • Home questionnaire (fourth grade)
  • Curriculum questionnaires


 Descriptive encyclopedia chapters

  • Each country provides a chapter describing its education system, mathematics and science curriculum, teacher education, and instructional practices


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