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Highlights From the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2003
Introduction
Mathematics
Science
Summary
List of Tables
List of Figures
References
Acknowledgements
pdf file Appendices (PDF–493kb)
pdf file Full Report (PDF–664kb)
MATHEMATICS
How did U.S. fourth- and eighth-graders perform in mathematics in 2003?

Fourth Grade:

  • In 2003, U.S. fourth-grade students scored 518, on average, in mathematics, exceeding the international average of 495 (table 2 and table C1 in appendix C). U.S. fourth-graders outperformed their peers in 13 of the other 24 participating countries, and performed lower than their peers in 11 countries.
  • In comparison to students in the other 10 OECD-member countries participating in the fourth-grade TIMSS assessment, U.S. fourth-graders outperformed their peers in mathematics in five countries (Australia, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, and Scotland) and were outperformed by their peers in the other five countries (Belgium-Flemish, England, Hungary, Japan, and the Netherlands) (table 2).

View Table 2: Average mathematics scale scores of fourth-grade students, by country: 2003

Eighth Grade:

  • In 2003, U.S. eighth-graders scored 504, on average, in mathematics. This average score exceeded the international average as well as the average scores of their peers in 25 of the 44 other participating countries (table 3 and table C2 in appendix C). U.S. eighth-graders were outperformed by students in nine countries: five Asian countries—Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Korea, and Singapore—and four European countries—Belgium-Flemish, Estonia, Hungary, and the Netherlands.
  • In comparison to their peers in the other 12 OECD-member countries participating in the eighth-grade TIMSS assessment, U.S. eighth-graders outperformed students in mathematics in two countries (Italy and Norway) and were outperformed by their peers in five countries (Belgium-Flemish, Hungary, Korea, Japan, and the Netherlands) (table 3).

View Table 3: Average mathematics scale scores of eighth-grade students, by country: 2003


Next: Did the mathematics performance of U.S.  fourth- and eighth-graders change between 1995 and 2003?
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education