TIMSS validates Singapore's innovations in maths education



SINGAPORE topped the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) in 2007 at the grade 4 (primary 4) level. It was second only to Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) in the grade 8 (secondary 2) level. Click here for full report.

Who does the study?

TIMSS is carried out by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) comprising national research institutions and governmental research agencies. As the fourth such study to date since its inception in 1995, the latest TIMSS in 2007 saw 36 countries participating at grade (primary) 4, and 48 participated at grade 8 (secondary 2). The TIMSS 2007 report was released a year later in December 2008.

What information is collected?

Besides collecting data like test scores, TIMSS also gathers information on the context that gave rise to the achievements such as curricula and classroom practices across the countries participating in the survey. The data is collected and analysed by international mathematics and science experts, as well as the national research coordinators from each participating country. The study reflects the most recent developments in the international research community and of a wide range of countries.

Value of TIMSS

TIMSS is a vital source for timely data on the relative performance of US mathematics and science students (from the selected levels) compared to that of students in other countries. By comparing over time the mathematics and science knowledge and skills of the student participants, and examining the relation and contribution of the various countries' mathematics and science curricula, TIMSS provides a good indication of how well the students have learned the concepts and acquired skills over the previous years.

While the objective of the study is focused on US students, TIMSS results provides participating countries important feedback to improve their own systems for mathematics and science learning which is key to national efforts to grow an educated and competitive workforce that will stay relevant in the global economy.

Earlier TIMSS

TIMSS data have been collected in 1995, 1999, 2003, and 2007.


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