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Mathematics and Science Achievement of Fourth-Graders in 2003

Comparisons of the mathematics and science achievement of fourth-graders in 2003 are made among the 25 participating countries.

  • In 2003, U.S. fourth-grade students exceeded the international averages in both mathematics and science. In mathematics, U.S. fourth-graders outperformed their peers in 13 of the other 24 participating countries, and, in science, outperformed their peers in 16 countries.
  • In 2003, fourth-graders in three countries-Chinese Taipei, Japan, and Singapore-outperformed U.S. fourth-graders in both mathematics and science, while students in 13 countries turned in lower average mathematics and science scores than U.S. students. Among the 13 countries in which students were outperformed by U.S. fourth-grade students, five countries are members of the OECD (Australia, Italy, New Zealand, Norway and Scotland), and three are English-speaking countries (Australia, New Zealand and Scotland).


  • Table 1 — Average mathematics scale scores of fourth-grade students, by country: 2003
  • Table 2 — Average science scale scores of fourth-grade students, by country: 2003