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Science for Grades 4 and 8: Trends Over Three Time Points
Average Scores

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Figure 10. Change in average science 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.

*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 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 science 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.

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

Singapore2 580 higher 5.6 590 higher 4.3 597 higher 3.2
Japan 554 higher 1.8 558 higher 2.4 571 higher 1.8
Chinese Taipei-CHN 564 higher 2.3 569 higher 2.1
Korea, Republic of 546 higher 2.1 560 higher 2.0 556 higher 2.2
Slovenia 514 2.8 543 higher 2.6 551 higher 2.4
Hong Kong-CHN 510 5.9 535 higher 3.4 546 higher 3.9
Russian Federation 523 4.4 542 higher 3.3 544 higher 4.2
England-GBR 533 higher 3.5 533 4.9 537 3.8
Kazakhstan 490 lower 4.2 533 4.4
Ireland 518 5.1 530 2.8
United States3 513 5.5 525 2.4 530 2.8
Hungary 537 higher 3.2 522 3.1 527 3.4
Sweden 553 higher 4.3 509 lower 2.6 522 3.4
Lithuania2 464 lower 4.0 514 lower 2.5 522 lower 3.0
New Zealand3 511 4.9 512 lower 4.6 513 lower 3.1
Australia 514 3.9 519 4.7 512 lower 2.7
Israel4 516 4.0 507 lower 3.9
Italy2 501 lower 2.4 499 lower 2.4
Turkey 483 lower 3.4 493 lower 4.0
Norway (8)5 514 2.4 494 lower 2.6 489 lower 2.4
United Arab Emirates 465 lower 2.4 477 lower 2.3
Malaysia 426 lower 6.2 471 lower 4.1
Bahrain 452 lower 1.9 466 lower 2.2
Qatar 419 lower 3.2 457 lower 3.0
Iran, Islamic Republic of 463 lower 3.7 474 lower 4.0 456 lower 4.0
Thailand 451 lower 4.0 456 lower 4.2
Oman 420 lower 3.2 455 lower 2.7
Chile 461 lower 2.5 454 lower 3.1
Georgia2, 6 420 lower 3.0 443 lower 3.1
Jordan 449 lower 4.1 426 lower 3.4
Lebanon 406 lower 5.0 398 lower 5.3
Saudi Arabia 436 lower 3.8 396 lower 4.5
Morocco 376 lower 2.2 393 lower 2.5
Benchmarking participants
Quebec-CAN7 510 7.0 520 2.6 530 4.4
Dubai-UAE 485 lower 2.6 525 2.0
Ontario-CAN 496 lower 3.8 521 2.4 524 2.5
Florida-USA6 530 7.4 508 lower 6.0
Abu Dhabi-UAE 461 lower 3.9 454 lower 5.6