Every four years, a sample of Australian students are chosen to participate in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), which is an ongoing part of Australia's National Assessment Program (NAP).
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What is TIMSS?
TIMSS is an international assessment—administered by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) —that aims to measure how well students in Year 4 and Year 8 have mastered the knowledge they are expected to learn as part of the mathematics and science curriculum.
Why does Australia participate in TIMSS?
TIMSS is part of the NAP, which is used to monitor and report on student achievement in a comparable and consistent way.
By participating in TIMSS, schools and students are contributing to an important health check on the performance of Australia's education system in key science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning areas.
Results can also be used to look at how the performance of students in Australia and other countries changes over time. This, along with information from the background contextual surveys that accompany the tests, allows the Australian Government to identify some of the similarities and differences between education systems that can contribute to better outcomes for students.
Where are TIMSS results reported?
Almost 15,000 Australian students participated in the most recent TIMSS in 2019. Results for Australia and all other participating countries is available on the TIMSS website.
Australian governments appoint a National Research Coodinator to administer the test. For 2019, the Australian Council for Educational Research was appointed. The Australian national reports are available to download through its website. Initial results for the current cycle, TIMSS 2023, will be released at the end of 2024.
How are TIMSS results reported?
Australia publishes TIMSS results in mathematics and science for Year 4 and Year 8 students at both the national and the state and territory level.
A breakdown of national results is also provided to show how students in different demographic groups are achieving.
For each year level tested, the TIMSS national report shows the results for students who are Indigenous or who come from a non-English speaking background. It also compares the performance of students by gender, and the location of their school (metropolitan, regional or remote).
All information collected in TIMSS is de-identified so that no student or school taking TIMSS will be identified when Australia's results are publicly reported.