Mathematics for Grades 4 and 8: Subscale Scores

Cognitive Subscales

Table 6. Average mathematics cognitive domain scores of 8th-grade students, by education system: 2015
Education system Cognitive domain
Knowing Applying Reasoning
Average score s.e. Average score s.e. Average score s.e.

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

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

1 National Defined Population covers 90 to 95 percent of the National Target Population.

2 National Target Population does not include all of the International Target Population.

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

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

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

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

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

8 Did not satisfy guidelines for sample participation rates.

NOTE: Education systems are ordered by 2015 average score in reasoning. 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. U.S. state data are based on public school students only. The TIMSS scale centerpoint is set at 500 points and represents the mean of the overall achievement distribution in 1995. The TIMSS scale is the same in each administration; thus, a value of 500 in 2015 equals 500 in 1995. 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.

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

TIMSS scale average 500 0.0 500 0.0 500 0.0
Singapore1 633 3.4 619 3.2 616 3.7
Korea, Republic of 607 2.8 606 2.8 608 2.7
Chinese Taipei-CHN 598 2.9 602 2.5 602 2.5
Hong Kong-CHN 600 5.1 595 4.5 591 5.1
Japan 578 2.6 592 2.3 591 2.6
Canada2, 3 520 2.3 528 2.2 534 2.4
Russian Federation 543 5.6 541 4.6 528 5.0
Kazakhstan 533 6.3 527 5.4 525 5.5
England-GBR 513 4.1 519 4.1 522 4.4
Ireland 527 3.0 520 3.0 521 3.1
Slovenia 518 2.4 514 2.1 516 2.7
Norway (9)4 500 2.3 516 2.3 516 2.5
Hungary 511 3.9 516 3.8 515 3.9
United States3 528 3.5 515 3.2 514 3.1
Australia 504 3.1 502 3.0 512 3.1
Israel5 511 4.2 512 4.0 510 4.4
Sweden 484 2.8 507 2.8 509 3.5
Lithuania1 502 3.1 520 2.6 501 3.0
Italy1 489 2.7 495 2.6 500 2.8
New Zealand3 488 3.4 493 3.3 499 3.5
Malta 499 1.5 493 1.5 484 2.2
Turkey 447 4.9 460 4.3 472 4.8
United Arab Emirates 476 2.2 457 2.1 461 2.2
Malaysia 472 3.8 463 3.6 453 3.7
Bahrain 463 2.3 445 1.7 452 2.2
Georgia1, 2 456 4.1 454 3.6 441 4.5
Iran, Islamic Republic of6 435 4.9 434 4.4 436 4.7
Thailand 425 5.1 431 4.7 435 4.8
Chile6 423 3.4 427 3.3 432 3.3
Qatar6 440 3.1 435 2.9 431 2.8
Lebanon 456 3.8 439 3.9 406 4.5
Oman6 401 3.1 401 2.5 402 3.1
Jordan7 391 3.2 378 3.2 380 3.3
Egypt6 399 4.3 385 3.9 379 4.3
Saudi Arabia7 359 4.9 364 4.2 374 4.0
Morocco7 382 2.4 385 2.2 374 2.8
Kuwait6 398 4.7 389 4.5 374 4.5
Benchmarking participants
Quebec-CAN8 541 4.2 546 4.0 538 4.2
Ontario-CAN 513 3.0 522 2.8 534 3.1
Dubai-UAE 521 2.3 505 2.5 509 2.8
Florida-USA2 501 7.3 488 6.7 491 6.6
Abu Dhabi-UAE 453 4.8 434 4.7 440 4.7
Buenos Aires-ARG3, 7 397 4.4 392 4.8 383 5.4