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  • Public school students’ average score was 567 at grade 8.
  • Higher percentages of Massachusetts 8th-graders performed at or above each of the four TIMSS international benchmarks than the international medians. For example, 24 percent of 8th-graders in Massachusetts performed at or above the Advanced benchmark (625) compared to the international median of 4 percent at grade 8 (see figure 12, Highlights from TIMSS 2011).

  • Male and female students in Massachusetts scored higher, on average, in science than the TIMSS scale average (table 2).
  • White, Asian, and multiracial students’ average scores were higher than the TIMSS scale average, while Black and Hispanic students’ average scores were not measurably different from the TIMSS scale average (table 2).
  • Students in public schools with 75 percent or more of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch had average scores not measurably different from the TIMSS scale average. All other groups scored, on average, above the TIMSS scale average.

Suggested Citation: Provasnik, S., Kastberg, D., Ferraro, D., Lemanski, N., Roey, S., and Jenkins, F. (2012). Highlights From TIMSS 2011: Mathematics and Science Achievement of U.S. Fourth- and Eighth-Grade Students in an International Context (NCES 2013-009). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC.

Excel FileExcel Version
Table 1. Average science scores of 8th-grade students in Massachusetts public schools compared with other participating education systems: 2011
Education systems higher than Massachusetts
Education systems not measurably different from Massachusetts
Chinese Taipei-CHN Japan
Korea, Rep. of Minnesota-USA
Education systems lower than Massachusetts
Finland Alabama-USA
Alberta-CAN Dubai-UAE
Slovenia Turkey
Russian Federation Iran, Islamic Rep. of
Colorado-USA Romania
Hong Kong-CHN United Arab Emirates
England-GBR Chile
Indiana-USA Abu Dhabi-UAE
Connecticut-USA Bahrain
North Carolina-USA Thailand
Florida-USA Jordan
United States Tunisia
Hungary Armenia
Ontario-CAN Saudi Arabia
Quebec-CAN Malaysia
Australia Syrian Arab Republic
Israel Palestinian Nat'l Auth.
Lithuania Georgia
New Zealand Oman
Sweden Qatar
Italy Macedonia, Rep. of
Ukraine Lebanon
California-USA Indonesia
Norway Morocco
Kazakhstan Ghana
SOURCE: International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), 2011.
Table 2. Average science scores in grade 8 for selected student groups in public schools in Massachusetts: 2011
Reporting groups Average score
TIMSS scale average 500
U.S. average 525 *
Massachusetts average 567 *
Female 564 *
Male 570 *
White 587 *
Black 514
Hispanic 494
Asian 576 *
Multiracial 576 *
Percentage of public school students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch
Less than 10 percent 594 *
10 to 24.9 percent 589 *
25 to 49.9 percent 553 *
50 to 74.9 percent 550 *
75 percent or more 477
*p<.05. Difference between score and TIMSS scale average is significant.
NOTE: Black includes African American and Hispanic includes Latino. Racial categories exclude Hispanic origin. Not all race/ethnicity categories are shown, but they are all included in the U.S. and state totals shown throughout the report. The standard errors of the estimates are shown in table E-13 available at
SOURCE: International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), 2011.

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