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Data Files

International Data Explorer You can explore the TIMSS data directly through NCES's online data tool — the International Data Explorer (IDE)

The U.S. TIMSS data are made available in three versions, each of which includes student achievement data as well as student, teacher, school, and curricular background data (known as the "international variables"). The differences between these versions is summarized in the table below and described in detail below it. At the bottom of this page is a description of data analysis resources that are available for analyzing these data files.


Version

U.S. data for international variables

Other participating education systems’ data for international variables

Data for U.S.-specific variables (e.g., race/ethnicity, poverty)

Restricted data (e.g., access to school names and CCD ID)

1. TIMSS International U.S. data files

Yes

Yes

No

No

2. TIMSS U.S. national public-use data files

Yes

No

Yes

No

3. TIMSS U.S. national restricted-use data files

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

TIMSS International U.S. data files

The TIMSS International U.S. data files are available as part of the TIMSS International Database released for each round of TIMSS. The International Database consists of data files with the set of international variables that are common to all participating education systems, including the United States. The TIMSS International Database, its User Guide (describing the organization and content of the database) and supplements, and supporting materials (e.g., SAS/SPSS control files, International codebooks and data almanacs, international background questionnaires, and released items) are available for download for each round of TIMSS from the TIMSS and PIRLS International Study Center website. This website also lists publications that may be of use to data users (e.g., TIMSS Data Analysis manuals, TIMSS Technical reports, TIMSS international data reports, and TIMSS assessment frameworks).

TIMSS U.S. national public-use data files

In addition to the information collected as part of the international background questionnaires, which are the data in the international variables, each country has the option to collect additional nationally specific information. Each round of TIMSS, the United States has used this option to collect some U.S.-specific information that is not included in the TIMSS International Database. For example, the additional U.S.-specific information includes the race/ethnicity of students (from questions added to the U.S. version of the TIMSS student questionnaire) and the percentage of students in a school eligible for the Federal free and reduced-price lunch program (from questions added to the U.S. version of the TIMSS school questionnaire). These U.S.-specific data and variables are available in the TIMSS U.S. national public-use data files. These public-use files for TIMSS 2003, 2007, and 2011 can be downloaded from the "Data Products" section of the NCES TIMSS website. Note that the TIMSS U.S. national public-use data files do not include international variables for education systems other than the United States. Also note that the TIMSS 1995 data are not currently online because the 1995 scores were rescaled by the IEA after 1999; however, the original data can be requested through the TIMSSís homepageís Contact Us link. Finally, be aware that there is no public-use version for the TIMSS 1999 data; only a restricted-use data file is available.

TIMSS U.S. national restricted-use data files

TIMSS U.S. national restricted-use data files include (a) the U.S.-specific data and variables that are available in the TIMSS U.S. national public-use data files, (b) complete, original data for the continuous variables that are converted into categorical data for confidentiality reasons on the public-use data files, and (c) the supplemental link files that link TIMSS school ID numbers to the school ID numbers as they appear in the publicly available Common Core of Data (CCD) or the Private School Universe Survey (PSS). Because these data can reveal the identities of participating schools, the restricted-use data files are only made available to those who obtain a NCES restricted-use data license. Directions on how to obtain the license can be found at http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/licenses.asp.

Data Analysis Resources

TIMSS data files are quite complex on account of the studyís multi-stage sample design and use of imputed scores (also known as plausible values). These complexities can make analyzing the data challenging for users. To help users explore TIMSS data without having to master the technical complexities of the data files, NCES has developed a relatively simple, interactive online data-analysis tool: the International Data Explorer (IDE). The IDE allows users to analyze all the international variables for all participating education systems and the U.S.-specific variables; however, it does not include U.S. restricted-use data.

Users who want to explore the data directly can use a plug-in application called the International Database (IDB) Analyzer and developed by the IEA (International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement) to deal with the complexities of the data. The International Database (IDB) Analyzer can be downloaded for free from the IEA website. While IDB Analyzer requires SPSS subscription, IDE does not require SPSS for analyzing the data. Note that IDB Analyzer's default is to use only the international variables for all participating education systems and not include U.S.-specific variables or restricted-use data. However, it is possible in IDB Analyzer to conduct analysis with the U.S.-specific variables and U.S. restricted-use data as long as SPPS versions of the TIMSS U.S. national public-use data files or the TIMSS U.S. national restricted-use data files are uploaded into the IDB Analyzer.

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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education