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In addition to the following questions about TIMSS, more FAQs about international assessments are available at: http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/international/faqs.asp.

Can you directly compare TIMSS scores at grade 4 to scores at grade 8?

The scaling of TIMSS data is conducted separately for each grade and each content domain. While the scales were created to each have a mean of 500 and a standard deviation of 100, the subject matter and the level of difficulty of items necessarily differ between the assessments at both grades. Therefore, direct comparisons between scores across grades should not be made.

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