TIMSS Advanced 2015 Fact Sheet

Long title
Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study
Frequency of data collection
Previous cycles
1995, 2008
  • 2013 (February–December): framework and instrument development
  • 2014 (March–April): field test
  • 2015 (March–June): data collection
  • 2016 (November): release of international reports
  • 2017 (February): release of international database
  • Monitor global trends in the achievement of students in their final year of secondary school who are engaged in advanced mathematics and physics studies that prepare them to enter STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programs in higher education.
  • Provide country-level information about the numbers of students and the proportion of the overall student population who are participating in advanced mathematics and physics study at the end of secondary school.
  • Gain a better understanding of how advanced mathematics and physics programs or tracks are organized in various countries, as well as how their organization, curricula, instructional resources, and practices can help support and expand the pipeline of students entering a STEM career.
  • Gather and provide information and data for improving learning and teaching in advanced mathematics and physics.
Assessment domain(s)
  • Advanced mathematics
  • Physics
Study framework (summary)

The advanced mathematics and physics curriculum (overarching concept)

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


The advanced mathematics assessment framework

  • Content dimension
  • Cognitive dimension


The physics assessment framework

  • Content dimension
  • Cognitive dimension


The contextual framework

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


9 countries



France, Italy, Lebanon, Norway, Portugal, the Russian Federation, Slovenia, Sweden, and the United States

For advanced mathematics, the Russian Federation participated with two populations of students—Profile students and a subset of those students who were in an even more intensive program

Target population and sample (summary)

Target population (students)

For advanced mathematics, all students in the final year of secondary schooling attending advanced mathematics courses in one of the participating countries.

For physics, all students in the final year of secondary schooling attending physics courses in one of the participating countries.


Sample (students)

  • Per country
    • The school sample aimed for was 150 schools, but the actual number of participating schools varied by country.
    • The student sample varied by country.
  • In total, approximately 32,000 advanced mathematics students and 24,000 physics students participated
Data collection techniques and instruments (summary)

Large-scale assessments of student achievement

  • Advanced mathematics and physics, final year of secondary school
  • 6 advanced mathematics booklets, 6 physics booklets, matrix sampling design


Background questionnaires

  • Student questionnaire – advanced mathematics
  • Student questionnaire – physics
  • Teacher questionnaire – advanced mathematics
  • Teacher questionnaire – physics
  • School questionnaire
  • Curriculum questionnaires


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