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Mathematics Achievement of Fourth- and Eighth-Graders in 2011


4th Grade

Comparisons of the mathematics achievement of 4th-graders in 2011 are made among 57 countries and other education systems. 

Performance by Average Scores (Table 2)

  • In 2011, the average mathematics score of U.S. 4th-graders (541) was higher than the international TIMSS scale average, which is set at 500.
  • At grade 4, the United States was among the top 15 education systems in mathematics (8 education systems had higher averages and 6 were not measurably different) and scored higher, on average, than 42 education systems.
    • The 8 education systems with average mathematics scores above the U.S. score were Singapore, Korea, Hong Kong-CHN, Chinese Taipei-CHN, Japan, Northern Ireland-GBR, North Carolina-USA, and Belgium (Flemish)-BEL.

Change in Average Scores Over Time (Figure 1)

  • Compared with 1995, the U.S. average mathematics score at grade 4 was 23 score points higher in 2011 (541 v. 518).
  • Compared with 2007, the U.S. average mathematics score at grade 4 was 12 score points higher in 2011 (541 v. 529).

Performance on International Benchmarks (Figure 2)

  • The percentage of 4th-graders performing at or above the Advanced international mathematics benchmark in 2011 was higher than in the United States in 7 education systems, was not different in 4 education systems, and was lower than in the United States in 45 education systems.

8th Grade

Comparisons of the mathematics achievement of 8th-graders in 2011 are made among 56 countries and other education systems.

Performance by Average Scores (Table 3)

  • In 2011, the average mathematics score of U.S. 8th-graders (509) was higher than the international TIMSS scale average, which is set at 500.
  • At grade 8, the United States was among the top 24 education systems in mathematics (11 education systems had higher averages and 12 were not measurably different) and scored higher, on average, than 32 education systems.
    • The 11 education systems with average mathematics scores above the U.S. score were Korea, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong-CHN, Japan, Massachusetts-USA, Minnesota-USA, the Russian Federation, North Carolina-USA, Quebec-CAN, and Indiana-USA.

Change in Average Scores Over Time (Figure 3)

  • Compared with 1995, the U.S. average mathematics score at grade 8 was 17 score points higher in 2011 (509 v. 492).
  • There was no measurable difference between the U.S. average mathematics score at grade 8 in 2007 (508) and in 2011 (509).

Performance on International Benchmarks (Figure 4)

  • The percentage of 8th-grade students performing at or above the Advanced international mathematics benchmark in 2011 was higher than in the United States in 11 education systems; was not different in 13 education systems; and was lower than in the United States in 31 education systems.

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