TIMSS 2015 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
  • 2013 (February–December): framework and instrument development
  • 2014 (March–April): field test
  • 2014 (October–December): data collection, Southern Hemisphere
  • 2015 (March-June): data collection, Northern Hemisphere
  • 2016 (November): release of international reports
  • 2017 (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


TIMSS 2015 saw the introduction of TIMSS Numeracy, a less difficult version of TIMSS Mathematics for countries where most children are still developing fundamental mathematics skills.

The numeracy assessment framework

  • Content dimension
  • Cognitive dimension


The science assessment framework

  • Content dimension
  • Cognitive dimension


The contextual framework

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


57 countries and 7 benchmarking entities


Each grade

  • Grade 4: 50 countries and 7 benchmarking entities
  • Grade 8: 39 countries and 7 benchmarking entities



Countries participating, including some distinctive education systems within countries that have always participated separately: Armenia, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium (Flemish), Botswana, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, England, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Hungary, Indonesia, Islamic Rep. of Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Rep. of Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway (5), Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United States


Benchmarking participants (i.e., regional jurisdictions)

Buenos Aires, Argentina; Ontario, Canada; Quebec, Canada; Norway (4); Abu Dhabi, UAE; Dubai, UAE; Florida, USA

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, one or two classes per school, approximately 4,500 students total
  • 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
  • With 14 booklets per grade and matrix sampling design


Background questionnaires

  • Student questionnaire
  • Home questionnaire (Grade 4)
  • Teacher questionnaire
  • School questionnaire
  • 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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