Home Science Biology U.S. students better in math, science, but still lag Asians
The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) is a test of knowledge and skills of fourth- and eight-grade students from around the world. The United States is doing better, but still not as good as the leaders: students in Asia.

The website of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) (a part of the Institute of Education Science (IES) and the larger U.S. Department of Education) states, “The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2007 is the fourth administration of this international comparison since the 1995 initial administration.”

The TIMSS compares mathematics and science knowledge and skills of fourth-grader and eighth-grader students over time. It is designed to give an accurate assessment of the mathematics and science curricula in the different countries whose students are taking the test.

The latest results were announced on Tuesday, December 9, 2008.

In 2007, fourth- and eighth-grader students from fifty-eight countries and educational jurisdictions participated in TIMSS. Specifically, students from 48 countries took part in the eight-grade portion of the test, and students from 36 countries took the fourth-grade test.

Together, around 425,000 students were tested worldwide.

You can download the report (pdf file) at: Highlights From TIMSS 2007 (Mathematics and Science Achievement of U.S. Fourth- and Eighth-Grade Students in an International Context).


Fourth-graders in the United States scored a 529 for the mathematics portion of the test. The average for all fourth-grade students around the world was 500.

More stats on page two.


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William Atkins

William Atkins completed educational degrees in science (bachelor’s in physics and mathematics) from Illinois State University (Normal, United States) and business (master’s in entrepreneurship and bachelor’s in industrial relations) from Western Illinois University