Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)

The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) is an international comparative study of the mathematics and science achievement of fourth- and eighth-graders in the United States and students in the equivalent of fourth and eighth grade in other participating countries.

The TIMSS study began in 1995 and is administered every 4 years. TIMSS also examines the behaviors and attitudes of students in mathematics and science. To provide comparative perspectives on trends in achievement in the context of different education systems, and school organizational and instructional approaches, TIMSS collects background information from the teachers and school administrators.

AIR’s experts provide technical and analytical support for U.S. participation in TIMSS, including consultation and management support; technical review of statistical reports, data files, and data documentation; expert analysis; technical support for the development of web-based data tools and other products; and training outside researchers to use TIMSS data files and other survey resources.

Stats in Brief: International TIMSS Data on Widening Achievement Gaps in Math and Science, 2011-2019 (October 2022)

A new interactive web-based Stats in Brief uses data from TIMSS to explore changes between 2011 and 2019 in the achievement gaps between students at the 90th percentile (high performing) and the 10th percentile (low performing).

The brief—which examines data from 47 countries at grade 4, 36 countries at grade 8, and 29 countries at both grades—provides an important picture of pre-pandemic trends, as well as an international context for analyzing U.S. performance. For example, it found the United States was the only country (of 29) where the score gap between high- and low-performing students widened between 2011 and 2019 in both mathematics and science at both grade 4 and grade 8.

The brief also explores the patterns in score gap changes; the focus on patterns sheds light on which part of the achievement distribution may be driving change. Exploring these data may lead to new insights about the equity of outcomes in education.

Changes Between 2011 and 2019 in Achievement Gaps Between High- and Low-Performing Students in Mathematics and Science: International Results from TIMSS
Stats in Brief (Digital version) | Stats in Brief PDF

U.S. Is Unique in Score Gap Widening in Mathematics and Science at Both Grades 4 and 8: Pre-Pandemic Evidence from TIMSS 
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