TIMSS 2018/19: Mathematics Year 9 Publications
This report describes the mathematics achievement of Year 9 students in TIMSS 2018/19. Analyses of achievement by sub-groupings (such as gender and ethnicity) and background information are also presented and comparisons are made with New Zealand across cycles and also with other countries. Characteristics of teachers, including their preparedness to teach mathematics, teaching activities that took place within mathematics lessons, resources, and teacher attitudes and perceptions, as well as the school climate for learning, are explored.
Author(s): Educational Measurement and Assessment, Ministry of Education
Date Published: December 2020
Mathematics achievement of New Zealand Year 9 students since 1994 - 25 years of trends
- The average (mean) mathematics achievement of New Zealand Year 9 students in 2019 was lower than that of the students 25 years ago in 1994, and was also lower than 2014.
- New Zealand Year 9 students' mean mathematics achievement in 2019 was significantly1 higher than 14 countries, but lower than the mean score of 20 countries.
Classifying New Zealand Year 9 students a low to advanced performers
- Six percent of New Zealand Year 9 students were classified as advanced performers (reached the advanced benchmark), while 18 percent of students were classified as below low performers who did not perform simple mathematics tasks.
- New Zealand's proportion of Year 9 advanced performers was about the same as the international median. The New Zealand proportion of those not reaching the low benchmark was higher than the international median. The top five high-performing countries had at least 32 percent of their lower secondary students classified as advanced performers, and four percent or fewer classified as below low performers.
- There were more Year 9 students who were lower achievers in 2019, compared with 2002. The proportion of Year 9 students reaching the high and intermediate benchmarks was significantly lower than in 2014. However the proportion of Year 9 students reaching the advanced and low benchmarks was about the same as 2014.
Strengths and weaknesses of New Zealand Year 9 students within mathematics
- New Zealand Year 9 students showed greatest strength in Data and Probability compared to Algebra and Geometry. The average scores for all content domains (including Number) are significantly lower than 2014.
- New Zealand Year 9 students did significantly better at applying and reasoning, compared to knowing in mathematics. The average score for knowing and reasoning was lower than 2014 but applying had not changed significantly.
TIMSS and the New Zealand mathematics curriculum
- Many New Zealand Year 9 students were working at level 4 of the curriculum by the end of the year, rather than level 5. Not surprisingly, those students in classes working at higher levels had higher mathematics achievement.
- When the TIMSS test was compared to curriculum expectations for New Zealand Year 9 students, there were questions considered more advanced than our curriculum. More advanced questions help to identify advanced achievers. However, when the test was reduced to contain only those appropriate to New Zealand Year 9 students, the average score was similar to the average for all questions and New Zealand’s position relative to other countries remained the very similar.
Mathematics achievement of Year 9 boys and girls
- Year 9 boys and girls had the same mathematics achievement as each other, on average, but boys had a wider range than girls. Both girls and boys had a similar drop in average score since 2014.
- In 2019 boys achieved higher on Number, with no significant gender difference on Algebra, Geometry and Data and Probability or in the cognitive domain areas of knowing, applying, and reasoning.
Mathematics achievement and socio-economic status of Year 9 students
- Students in homes with many resources for learning had higher mathematics achievement, on average, than those whose homes had fewer resources.
- Mathematics achievement was higher, on average, for students in schools with more affluent students than those in schools with more economically disadvantaged students. The difference in mathematics achievement between these two groupings within New Zealand was a lot higher than the international average.
- The word 'significant' is used to describe statistical significance. Statistical tests show that these results are 95% certain.
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