The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2011 is the fifth administration of this international comparative study since 1995 when first administered. TIMSS is used to compare over time the mathematics and science knowledge and skills of 4th- and 8th-graders. TIMSS is designed to align broadly with mathematics and science curricula in the participating countries. The results, therefore, suggest the degree to which students have learned mathematics and science concepts and skills likely to have been taught in school. In 2011, there were 54 countries and 20 other educational systems that participated in TIMSS, at the 4th- or 8th-grade level, or both.
The focus of the report is on the performance of U.S. students relative to their peers in other countries in 2011 and on changes in mathematics and science achievement since 2007 and 1995. For a number of participating countries and education systems, changes in achievement can be documented over the last 16 years, 1995-2011. This report also describes achievement within the U.S. by sex, race/ethnicity, and enrollment in public schools with different levels of poverty. In addition, it describes achievement in nine states that participated in TIMSS both as part of the U.S. national sample of public and private schools as well as individually with state-level samples of public schools.
In addition to numerical scale results, TIMSS also includes international benchmarks. The TIMSS international benchmarks provide a way to interpret the scale scores by describing the types of knowledge and skills students demonstrate at different levels along the TIMSS scale.