1136.0 - Directory of Education and Training Statistics, 2007  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/07/2007   
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Contents >> Statistical Collections >> Schools >> TIMMS - Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study

TIMSS: Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study


Australian Council for Education Research
Telephone 1800 818 095
Email timms@acer.edu.au
Website http://www.acer.edu.au


TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) is the world's longest running school mathematics and science study, and is designed to help countries improve student learning. It collects educational achievement data at Year 4 and Year 8 to provide information about trends in performance over time. TIMSS is conducted on a four year cycle, with the next collection in 2006-07. The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) is responsible for undertaking the data collection in Australian schools. TIMSS is a project of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA).


Approximately 60 countries participate in TIMMS. In Australia 10,000 students from all states and territories were invited to participate in the 2006-07 collection. Schools are randomly selected to represent state, geographic location and school sector. One entire class of students is then randomly selected from all the classes at the school.

Reference Period

For Australia, October and November 2006.

Frequency of Collection

Every four years.

Method of Collection

The mathematics and science tests are developed in a collaborative process. A number of the test questions are open ended, therefore, it is ensured that markers were adequately trained. This is achieved through a series of internationally and nationally held training sessions.

The study also involves separate questionnaires for schools, teachers and students. The questionnaires go through extensive critical review, pilot and field trials. These questionnaires are viewed as important in order to draw conclusions from achievement data that would be of use to education policy makers.


Release Schedule

The first release is usually 2 years after the collection.


Australian TIMSS publications are available from the TIMSS page on the ACER website, http://www.acer.edu.au, which also provides links to the IEA TIMSS site for international publications.


Information is available for Australia and for each State and Territory. It is also possible to compare Australia's results with the international survey results.

Data Service

Datasets can be downloaded from the 'TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Centre' website, http://isc.bc.edu/ (Boston College, USA). An online data access and analysis system is available at the 'AIR Lighthouse', http://lighthouse.air.org/timss/, which is a service developed by the American Institutes for Research (AIR).


Student achievement in Maths and Science

Student Background

Country of birth
Outside school activities
Parental expectations
Self perceived ability
Attitudes to school
Class activities

Teacher Survey

Level taught
Outside school hours work
Requirements for students to do well
Familiarity with curriculum
Use of text books
Instructional methods
Limits on teaching
Topics taught
Lesson preparation
Perceived social value

Principal Survey

School levels served
Usage of time
School decision-making
Influence on curriculum
Resource inadequacies
Student attendance
School environment and safety
Time spent by teachers in classrooms
Admission policies

Historical Data

In Australia, TIMSS was first conducted in late 1994 for primary and secondary students, and 1995 for final year students. The study was repeated for students in secondary schools in 1998 and for students in both primary and secondary schools in 2002.

Australia also participated in the TIMSS 1999 Video Study. Year 8 mathematics and science classes were taped so that teaching practices could be described and investigated.

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