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Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)

Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study


The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) is a major source for internationally comparative information on the mathematics and science achievement of students in the fourth and eighth grades. It also reports on related contextual aspects, such as mathematics and science curricula and classroom practices across countries, including the United States. The frameworks and benchmarks upon which the assessment is based are developed in a collaborative process involving international mathematics and science experts, as well as national research coordinators from each participating country. Thus, they reflect the most recent developments and consensus in the international research community and the interests of a wide range of countries. TIMSS is sponsored by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA).

TIMSS was the first global assessment of mathematics and science to provide data about trends over time, measuring achievement in these subjects every four years at fourth and eighth grades since 1995. TIMSS 2011 was the fifth administration since the program began.

TIMSS complements what we learn from national assessments, such as NAEP, by identifying the strengths and weaknesses of student performance relative to students around the world. In Spring 2011, for the first time, Florida participated in TIMSS on the state-level. Examples of released TIMSS test items and the framework on which the assessment is based are available.

TIMSS is designed to provide valid and reliable measures of the performance of the students in the United States in the aggregate and for major subpopulations, as well as over time. Unlike NAEP, where a student receives questions in only one subject area, TIMSS booklets include both mathematics and science items. Similar to NAEP, TIMSS includes student, teacher, and school questionnaires. At grade 4, TIMSS samples intact classrooms, usually the one in which students spend the most time. At grade 8, the students are sampled in intact mathematics classrooms. TIMSS offers compensation and incentives to participating schools:

  • Schools receive $200 compensation
  • School TIMSS coordinator receives $100 compensation
  • Students receive a small gift

TIMSS 2011 Release

TIMSS 2015

Principal Letters

TIMSS at Grades 4 and 8

TIMSS Advanced at Grade 12


The contact for TIMSS in the state of Florida is Michele Sonnenfeld. She can be contacted by e-mail at or by telephone at 850-245-0513.

Official TIMSS home page

International Assessments Home