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

International Benchmarks

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Table 14a. Change in percentage of 8th-grade students reaching the TIMSS international benchmarks in mathematics by education system: 1995-2015 and 2011-2015
Education system Percentage of students reaching each international benchmark Change in percentage reaching each international benchmark1
1995 2011 2015 Percentage point difference: 1995 to 2015 Percentage point difference: 2011 to 2015
Advanced (625) High (550) Intermediate (475) Low (400) Advanced (625) High (550) Intermediate (475) Low (400) Advanced (625) High (550) Intermediate (475) Low (400) Advanced (625) High (550) Intermediate (475) Low (400) Advanced (625) High (550) Intermediate (475) Low (400)

higher icon Average percentage is larger than U.S. percentage at the .05 level of statistical significance.

lower icon Average percentage is smaller than U.S. percentage at the .05 level of statistical significance.

― Not available.

# Rounds to zero.

*p<.05. Percentage is significantly different from the U.S. percentage at the .05 level of statistical significance.

1 The change in average percentage 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 National Defined Population covers less than 90 percent of the National Target Population (but at least 77 percent) in 2015.

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

5 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.

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

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

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 the percentage of students reaching the Advanced international benchmark in 2015. 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. Lithuania also is excluded because full trend data are not available. U.S. state data are based on public school students only. 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.

  For 1995, 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 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.

  The standard errors for the estimates shown in this table are in table 14b available at http://nces.ed.gov/timss/timss2015/timss2015_table14b.asp.

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

Singapore2 40 higher 84 higher 98 higher 100 higher 48 higher 78 higher 92 higher 99 higher 54 higher 81 higher 94 higher 99 higher 14 * -3 -5 * -1 * 7 * 3 1 #
Chinese Taipei-CHN 49 higher 73 higher 88 higher 96 higher 44 higher 72 higher 88 higher 97 higher -5 * -1 # #
Korea, Republic of 31 higher 67 higher 89 higher 97 higher 47 higher 77 higher 93 higher 99 higher 43 higher 75 higher 93 higher 99 higher 12 * 8 * 4 * 2 * -4 -1 # #
Hong Kong-CHN 23 higher 65 higher 88 higher 96 higher 34 higher 71 higher 89 higher 97 higher 37 higher 75 higher 92 higher 98 higher 14 * 10 * 4 2 2 4 3 1
Japan 29 higher 67 higher 91 higher 98 higher 27 higher 61 higher 87 higher 97 higher 34 higher 67 higher 89 higher 98 higher 5 * # -2 -1 7 * 6 * 2 * 1
Kazakhstan 3 lower 23 lower 57 lower 85 lower 15 higher 41 71 91 12 * 19 * 14 * 5 *
Russian Federation 9 higher 38 higher 73 higher 93 higher 14 higher 47 higher 78 higher 95 higher 14 higher 46 higher 78 higher 95 higher 5 * 7 * 4 2 # -1 -1 #
Israel3 12 higher 40 higher 68 87 lower 13 higher 38 65 lower 84 lower # -1 -3 -2
Hungary 10 higher 40 higher 74 higher 94 higher 8 32 65 88 lower 12 37 67 88 lower 2 -3 -8 * -6 * 4 * 5 * 1 1
United States4 4 26 61 86 7 30 68 92 10 37 70 91 5 * 11 * 9 * 6 * 3 * 6 * 2 #
England-GBR 6 27 61 87 8 32 65 88 10 36 69 93 3 * 9 * 8 * 6 * 2 4 4 5 *
Australia 7 33 higher 68 higher 90 higher 9 29 63 89 lower 7 lower 30 lower 64 lower 89 # -3 -3 # -2 2 1 #
Ireland 8 higher 37 higher 73 higher 91 higher 7 lower 38 76 higher 94 higher -2 1 3 3
New Zealand4 6 28 64 89 5 24 lower 57 lower 84 lower 6 lower 27 lower 58 lower 85 lower # -1 -5 * -4 * 1 3 2 1
Turkey 7 20 lower 40 lower 67 lower 6 lower 20 lower 42 lower 70 lower -1 # 2 3
Slovenia 4 22 60 90 higher 4 lower 27 67 93 6 lower 32 lower 73 95 higher 2 * 10 * 12 * 5 * 2 * 5 * 6 * 2 *
United Arab Emirates 2 lower 14 lower 42 lower 73 lower 5 lower 20 lower 46 lower 73 lower 2 * 6 * 4 * #
Sweden 12 higher 46 higher 81 higher 96 higher 1 lower 16 lower 57 lower 89 lower 3 lower 26 lower 65 lower 91 -9 * -20 * -16 * -5 * 2 * 10 * 8 * 3 *
Qatar5 2 lower 10 lower 29 lower 54 lower 3 lower 14 lower 36 lower 63 lower 1 4 * 7 * 9 *
Malaysia 2 lower 12 lower 36 lower 65 lower 3 lower 18 lower 45 lower 76 lower 2 * 5 * 9 * 10 *
Italy2 3 lower 24 lower 64 lower 90 3 lower 24 lower 62 lower 89 # -1 -1 -1
Thailand 2 lower 8 lower 28 lower 62 lower 3 lower 10 lower 29 lower 62 lower 1 2 1 #
Iran, Islamic Republic of5 # lower 4 lower 24 lower 59 lower 2 lower 8 lower 26 lower 55 lower 2 lower 12 lower 34 lower 63 lower 2 * 8 * 10 * 4 # 4 * 9 * 9 *
Georgia2, 6 3 lower 13 lower 36 lower 62 lower 2 lower 15 lower 42 lower 72 lower # 2 6 * 10 *
Bahrain 1 lower 8 lower 26 lower 53 lower 2 lower 12 lower 39 lower 75 lower 1 4 * 13 * 21 *
Norway (8)7 4 26 64 90 higher 1 lower 12 lower 51 lower 87 lower 1 lower 17 lower 59 lower 90 -3 * -9 * -5 * # # 5 * 8 * 3 *
Oman5 # lower 4 lower 16 lower 39 lower 1 lower 6 lower 23 lower 52 lower # 2 * 7 * 13 *
Chile5 1 lower 5 lower 23 lower 57 lower 1 lower 7 lower 28 lower 63 lower # 1 5 * 6 *
Lebanon 1 lower 9 lower 38 lower 73 lower # lower 8 lower 35 lower 71 lower # -2 -3 -3
Saudi Arabia8 1 lower 5 lower 20 lower 47 lower # lower 2 lower 11 lower 34 lower # -3 * -9 * -13 *
Jordan8 # lower 6 lower 26 lower 55 lower # lower 3 lower 18 lower 45 lower # -3 * -9 * -10 *
Morocco8 # lower 2 lower 12 lower 36 lower # lower 2 lower 14 lower 41 lower # # 2 * 5 *
Benchmarking participants
Dubai-UAE 5 23 lower 53 lower 79 lower 10 36 67 88 lower 5 * 13 * 14 * 9 *
Quebec-CAN9 14 higher 54 higher 90 higher 99 higher 6 40 higher 82 higher 98 higher 9 47 higher 86 higher 98 higher -5 -6 -4 -1 4 * 7 * 4 #
Florida-USA6 8 31 68 94 7 28 lower 57 lower 84 lower -1 -4 -10 * -9 *
Ontario-CAN 3 26 65 91 higher 4 lower 31 71 94 higher 6 lower 37 75 higher 95 higher 3 * 11 * 10 * 4 * 2 * 6 * 5 * 1
Abu Dhabi-UAE 2 lower 12 lower 39 lower 71 lower 3 lower 14 lower 37 lower 65 lower 1 2 -2 -6 *