TIMSS 1998/99: Third International Mathematics and Science Study: Repeat (TIMSS-R): Preliminary Achievement Result

Publication Details

This document provides preliminary feedback of trends in mathematics and science achievement between 1994 and 1998 in an international context.

Author(s): Comparative Education Research Unit, Ministry of Education

Date Published: May 2000

Executive Summary

It is now over a year since the Third International Mathematics and Science Study – Repeat (TIMSS-R) survey was administered in New Zealand. This report begins with a brief recap of the background to the study, followed by the preliminary achievement results for Year 5 and Year 9 students. In addition, a brief description of one of the technical aspects currently being undertaken at the international level – scaling – is also presented.

Key Points

  • TIMSS-R is an international study of mathematics and science involving Year 9 students1. New Zealand has also administered a national version of TIMSS-R at the middle primary level, involving mostly Year 5 students.
  • The preliminary achievement results for each group of students are based on the performance on a subset of questions for each subject area, collectively known as the 'trend test items', that were common to both TIMSS (1994/95) and TIMSS-R (1998/99).
  • They should only be viewed as an indication of the final results.
  • The final results are not yet available, as the international researchers have not yet completed scaling the achievement data.
  • Based on analyses using the trend test items for each subject area:
    • on average, the performance of Year 5 and Year 9 students in mathematics in 1998, was about the same as the performance of Year 5 and Year 9 students in 1994;
    • on average, the performance of Year 9 students in science in 1998 was about the same as the performance of Year 9 students in 1994;
    • on average, the performance of Year 5 students in science in 1998 was slightly higher compared to the performance of Year 5 students in 1994.
  • The significance and size of any differences in achievement for particular subgroups between 1994 and 1998, as well as differences across subgroups will not be explored until the scaled scores become available.
  • The international results for the lower secondary level are expected to be released by Boston College in the United States in early December 2000.

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