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Methodology and Technical Notes

The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) is a cross-national comparative study of the performance and schooling contexts of 4th- and 8th- grade students in mathematics and science. In this sixth cycle of TIMSS, mathematics and science assessments and associated questionnaires were administered in 55 education systems at the 4th-grade level and 45 education systems at the 8th-grade level during fall 2014 (in the Southern hemisphere) and during spring 2015 (in the Northern hemisphere). In addition to the 4th- and 8th-grade assessments, TIMSS 2015 included the third administration of TIMSS Advanced since 1995. TIMSS Advanced 2015 assessed final-year secondary students' achievement in advanced mathematics and physics in nine countries. TIMSS and TIMSS Advanced are coordinated by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), with governmental sponsors in each participating country or education system. In the United States, TIMSS and TIMSS Advanced are sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), in the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education.

These Methodology and Technical Notes provide an overview, with a particular focus on the U.S. implementation, of the following technical aspects of TIMSS and TIMSS Advanced 2015:

More detailed information can be found in the Methods and Procedures in TIMSS 2015 at http://timssandpirls.bc.edu/publications/timss/2015-methods.html and Methods and Procedures in TIMSS Advanced 2015 at http://timss.bc.edu/publications/timss/2015-a-methods.html.

For a complete explanation of any of these topics, see the TIMSS and TIMSS Advanced 2015 Technical Report.