Skip Navigation
Skip Navigation

Mathematics for Grades 4 and 8: Trends Over Three Time Points

Average Scores

Excel File Excel Download

Figure 4. Change in average mathematics scores of 8th-grade students, by education system: 1995-2015 and 2011-2015
Education system Average score
1995 s.e. 2011 s.e. 2015 s.e.

higher icon Average score is higher than U.S. average score at the .05 level of statistical significance.

lower icon Average score is lower than U.S. average score at the .05 level of statistical significance.

― Not available.

† Not applicable.

# Rounds to zero.

*p<.05. Change in average scores is significant at the .05 level of statistical significance.

1 The change in average score is calculated by subtracting the 1995 or 2011 estimate, respectively, from the 2015 estimate using unrounded numbers.

2 National Defined Population covers 90 to 95 percent of the National Target Population in 2015.

3 Met guidelines for sample participation rates only after replacement schools were included in 2015.

4 National Defined Population covers less than 90 percent of the National Target Population (but at least 77 percent) in 2015.

5 The number in parentheses indicates years of school not grade in schooling.

6 National Target Population does not include all of the International Target Population in 2015.

7 Reservations about reliability because the percentage of students with achievement too low for estimation exceeds 15 percent but does not exceed 25 percent in 2015.

8 Reservations about reliability because the percentage of students with achievement too low for estimation exceeds 25 percent in 2015.

9 Did not satisfy guidelines for sample participation rates in 2015.

NOTE: Education systems are ordered by 2015 average score. Education systems that are not countries are designated by the appended three-letter international abbreviation for their country. Participants that did not administer TIMSS at the target grade are not shown; see the international report for their results. For cross-education system trend tables, data are shown for the first available and most recent year; 1995 is the first year for the overall mathematics scale and benchmark data and 2007 is the first year for the content and cognitive subscales. Participants that only participated in one of the three time points are also excluded. U.S. state data are based on public school students only. Standard error is abbreviated as s.e. For TIMSS 2015, Norway revised its assessed population to students in their 5th and 9th years of schooling to obtain better comparisons with Sweden and Finland. However, in previous TIMSS cycles Norway assessed students in their 4th and 8th years of schooling, which were defined as 4th and 8th grades but have been redefined as 3rd and 7th grades because year 1 in Norway is now considered the equivalent of a year of kindergarten. To maintain trend with previous TIMSS cycles, in 2015 Norway also collected data from students in their 4th and 8th years of schooling, which is used in trend tables. Trend results for Lithuania do not include students taught in Polish or in Russian.

  For 1995, Lithuania had a National Target Population that did not include all of the International Target Population; Lithuania and the Russian Federation had a National Defined Population that covered 90-95 percent of the National Target Population; England-GBR had a National Defined Population that covered less than 90 percent of the National Target Population (but at least 77 percent); England-GBR and the United States met guidelines for sample participation rates only after replacement schools were included; and Australia nearly satisfied guidelines for sample participation rates after replacement schools were included.

  For 2011, Georgia, Lithuania, and Florida-USA had a National Target Population that did not include all of the International Target Population; the Russian Federation, Singapore, the United States, Ontario-CAN, and Florida-USA had a National Defined Population that covered 90-95 percent of the National Target Population; Israel had a National Defined Population that covered less than 90 percent of the National Target Population (but at least 77 percent); England-GBR nearly satisfied guidelines for sample participation rates after replacement schools were included; and Bahrain tested the same cohort of students as other education systems, but later in the assessment year at the beginning of the next school year. In Bahrain, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia in 2011 there were reservations about reliability because the percentage of students with achievement too low for estimation exceeded 15 percent but did not exceed 25 percent; in Morocco there were reservations about reliability because the percentage of students with achievement too low for estimation exceeded 25 percent.

SOURCE: International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), 1995, 2011, and 2015.

Singapore2 609 higher 4.0 611 higher 3.8 621 higher 3.2
Korea, Republic of 581 higher 2.0 613 higher 2.9 606 higher 2.6
Chinese Taipei-CHN 609 higher 3.2 599 higher 2.4
Hong Kong-CHN 569 higher 6.1 586 higher 3.9 594 higher 4.6
Japan 581 higher 1.6 570 higher 2.6 586 higher 2.3
Russian Federation 524 higher 5.2 539 higher 3.6 538 higher 4.7
Kazakhstan 487 lower 4.2 528 5.3
Ireland 519 higher 4.9 523 2.7
United States3 492 4.9 509 2.7 518 3.1
England-GBR 498 3.0 507 5.6 518 4.2
Slovenia 494 2.9 505 2.2 516 2.1
Hungary 527 higher 3.2 505 3.5 514 3.8
Lithuania2 472 lower 4.1 502 2.5 512 2.9
Israel4 516 4.1 511 4.1
Australia 509 higher 3.7 505 5.2 505 lower 3.1
Sweden 540 higher 4.3 484 lower 1.9 501 lower 2.8
Italy2 498 lower 2.3 494 lower 2.5
New Zealand3 501 4.7 488 lower 5.4 493 lower 3.4
Norway (8)5 498 2.2 475 lower 2.5 487 lower 2.0
Malaysia 440 lower 5.5 465 lower 3.6
United Arab Emirates 456 lower 2.1 465 lower 2.0
Turkey 452 lower 4.0 458 lower 4.7
Bahrain 409 lower 1.9 454 lower 1.4
Georgia2, 6 431 lower 3.7 453 lower 3.4
Lebanon 449 lower 3.9 442 lower 3.6
Qatar7 410 lower 3.1 437 lower 3.0
Iran, Islamic Republic of7 418 lower 3.9 415 lower 4.3 436 lower 4.6
Thailand 427 lower 4.4 431 lower 4.8
Chile7 416 lower 2.7 427 lower 3.2
Oman7 366 lower 2.9 403 lower 2.4
Jordan8 406 lower 3.9 386 lower 3.2
Morocco8 371 lower 2.0 384 lower 2.3
Saudi Arabia8 394 lower 4.7 368 lower 4.6
Benchmarking participants
Quebec-CAN9 556 higher 6.0 532 higher 2.4 543 higher 3.9
Ontario-CAN 501 3.0 512 2.4 522 2.9
Dubai-UAE 478 lower 2.2 512 2.1
Florida-USA6 513 6.6 493 lower 6.4
Abu Dhabi-UAE 449 lower 3.7 442 lower 4.7