TIMSS 2011 Fact Sheet

Long title
Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study
Frequency of data collection
Every 4 years
Previous cycles
1995, 1999, 2003, 2007
  • 2009 (February – December): framework and instrument development
  • 2010 (March – April): field test
  • 2010 (October – December): data collection, Southern Hemisphere
  • 2011 (March – June): data collection, Northern Hemisphere
  • 2012 (December): release of international reports
  • 2013 (January): release of international database
  • Monitor system-level trends in student achievement in mathematics and science at Grades 4 and 8 in a global context
  • Gather and provide information and data for improving learning and teaching in mathematics and science
  • Gain a better understanding of education and educational systems and enable countries to make informed decisions for improving their education policies
  • 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 curriculum in mathematics and science (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

  • National and community contexts
  • School context
  • Classroom context
  • Student characteristics and attitudes
Participating entities

Each grade

  • Grade 4: 52 countries and 7 benchmarking entities
  • Grade 8: 45 countries and 14 benchmarking entities



Countries participating, including some distinctive education systems within countries that have always participated separately (63):

Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium (Flemish), Botswana, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Honduras, Hong Kong SAR, Hungary, Indonesia, Islamic Rep. of Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Rep. of Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Oman, Palestinian National Authority, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States, Yemen


Benchmarking participants (i.e., regional jurisdictions; 14):

Abu Dhabi, UAE; Alabama, USA; Alberta, Canada; California, USA; Colorado, USA ; Connecticut, USA; Dubai, UAE; Florida, USA; Indiana, USA; Massachusetts, USA; Minnesota, USA; North Carolina, USA; Ontario, Canada; Quebec, Canada

Target population and sample (summary)

Target population (students)

Grades representing 4 and 8 years of formal schooling, respectively, in participating entities


Sample (students)

  • Per country: 150-200 schools, 1 or 2 classes per school, approx. 4,500 students
  • Across all countries, approximately 300,000 students per grade.
Data collection techniques and instruments (summary)

Large-scale assessments of student achievement  

  • Mathematics and science, Grade 4
  • Mathematics and science, Grade 8
  • 14 booklets each grade, matrix sampling design


Background questionnaires

  • Student questionnaire
  • Teacher questionnaire
  • School questionnaire
  • Home questionnaire (in countries that administered both TIMSS and PIRLS to the same sample of students in Grade 4)
  • Curriculum questionnaires


Descriptive encyclopedia chapters

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


Keizersgracht 311

1016 EE Amsterdam

The Netherlands

Tel.: +31 20 625 3625

Fax: +31 20 420 7136

E-mail: secretariat@iea.nl

URL:      http://www.iea.nl


TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center

Boston College

140 Commonwealth Ave.

Chestnut Hill, MA 02467


Tel: +1-617-552-1600

Fax: +1-617-552-1203

E-mail: timssandpirls@bc.edu

URL: http://timssandpirls.bc.edu/index.html