TIMSS 1998/99

The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 1998/99, also known as the Third International Mathematics and Science Study-Repeat or TIMSS-R, was the second in a cycle of international comparative studies, providing participating countries with an opportunity to examine changes in mathematics and science achievement at the lower secondary (Year 9) level.

TIMSS Cycles, Information, Publications and International Data

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For information about each individual four year cycle of the study and publications based on the national results from TIMSS please refer to the 'Related Pages' inset box. For links to international publications, data and information on the IEA website please refer to the 'Where to find out More' inset box.

TIMSS 1998/99 Key Facts

Key Facts : TIMSS 1998/99

When:        1998.

Who:          Standard 3 students (mainly Year 5 level) and Year 9 students.

What:        Mathematics and science achievement.

How:         Conducted under the auspices of the IEA; managed internationally by Boston College; and managed within New Zealand by the 
                   Ministry of Education.

Where:      In 38 countries at Year 9 level, including New Zealand; New Zealand also conducted a national study at Year 5 level.


The first assessment was conducted in 1994/95. Internationally, TIMSS-1998/99 was not as extensive as the first cycle, with only lower secondary students (Year 9 students in New Zealand) taking part. However, New Zealand chose to do a replication of the 1994/95 middle primary assessment with Year 5 students at the same time as TIMSS-1998/99 was administered to Year 9 students.

Key Findings

  • The mean mathematics score for New Zealand Year 9 students was about the same as the international mean. Mean mathematics achievement decreased between 1994/95 and 1998/99 but this change was not statistically significant.
  • On average, New Zealand Year 9 students achieved significantly above the international mean for science in TIMSS-1998/99, with virtually no change in mean achievement since 1994/95.
  • Year 5 students achieved at a slightly higher level on average in both mathematics and science in 1998, when compared with the earlier assessment in 1994. Year 5 boys achieved significantly higher scores on average in 1998, in both maths and science, whereas the mean performance of girls was at about the same level.

Related Pages

Where to find out more

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