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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
Has the relative mathematics performance of U.S. fourth- and eighth-grade students changed since 1995?

Fourth Grade:

  • Although the average mathematics score of U.S. fourth-graders was 518 in both 1995 and 2003 (table 4), the data suggest that the standing of U.S. fourth-graders relative to their peers in 14 other countries was lower in 2003 than in 1995 in mathematics (table 6 and table C3 in appendix C). In 1995, on average, U.S. fourth-graders were outperformed in mathematics by fourth-graders in four of these countries and outperformed fourth-graders in nine of these countries. In 2003 on average, U.S. fourth-graders were outperformed by fourth-graders in seven of these countries and outperformed fourth-graders in seven of these countries, on average.
View Table 6: Average mathematics scale scores of fourth-grade students, by country: 1995 and 2003

Eighth Grade:

  • The average mathematics score for U.S. eighth-graders increased from 492 in 1995 to 504 in 2003. Over the same period, several countries whose eighth-graders outperformed the U.S. eighth-graders in 1995 experienced decreases in their average scores. The net effect resulted in a higher relative standing for U.S. eighth-graders in 2003 (table 7 and table C5 in appendix C). Among this group of countries, U.S. eighth-graders were outperformed by eighth-graders in 12 countries, on average, and outperformed eighth-graders in 4 countries in mathematics in 1995. In 2003, U.S. eighth-graders were outperformed by eighth-graders in seven of these countries, on average, and outperformed eighth-graders in six of these countries in mathematics.
View Table 7: Average mathematics scale scores of eighth-grade students, by country: 1995 and 2003


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