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  • Public school students’ average score was 561 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, 19 percent of 8th-graders in Massachusetts performed at or above the Advanced benchmark (625) compared to the international median of 3 percent at grade 8 (see figure 4, Highlights from TIMSS 2011).
  • Male and female students scored higher in mathematics, on average, 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.
  • Students in public schools with 75 percent or more of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch did not score measurably different, on average, 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 mathematics scores of 8th-grade students in Massachusetts public schools compared with other participating education systems: 2011
Education systems higher than Massachusetts
Korea, Rep. of Chinese Taipei-CHN
Singapore Hong Kong-CHN
Education systems not measurably different from Massachusetts
Education systems lower than Massachusetts
Minnesota-USA Norway
Russian Federation Armenia
North Carolina-USA Alabama-USA
Quebec-CAN Romania
Indiana-USA United Arab Emirates
Colorado-USA Turkey
Connecticut-USA Lebanon
Israel Abu Dhabi-UAE
Finland Malaysia
Florida-USA Georgia
Ontario-CAN Thailand
United States Macedonia, Rep. of
England-GBR Tunisia
Alberta-CAN Chile
Hungary Iran, Islamic Rep. of
Australia Qatar
Slovenia Bahrain
Lithuania Jordan
Italy Palestinian Nat'l Auth.
California-USA Saudi Arabia
New Zealand Indonesia
Kazakhstan Syrian Arab Republic
Sweden Morocco
Ukraine Oman
Dubai-UAE Ghana
SOURCE: International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), 2011.
Table 2. Average mathematics 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 509 *
Massachusetts average 561 *
Female 558 *
Male 563 *
White 572 *
Black 516
Hispanic 507
Asian 599 *
Multiracial 567 *
Percentage of public school students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch
Less than 10 percent 584 *
10 to 24.9 percent 576 *
25 to 49.9 percent 542 *
50 to 74.9 percent 559 *
75 percent or more 491
*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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