TIMSS 2023 Fact Sheet

Long title
Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study
Frequency of data collection
Every 4 years
Previous cycles
1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019
  • Monitor system-level trends in student achievement in mathematics and science at Grades 4 and 8 in a global context.
  • Inform education policy and monitor the impact of new or revised policies.
  • Identify any underperforming areas and stimulate curricular reform.
  • (With the digital format) Assess areas of the frameworks that are difficult to assess with a paper-and-pencil format.
  • Understand student engagement and approaches with the assessment by gathering process data and provide important information to help improve mathematics and science instruction.
  • Observe the performance of the fourth-grade cohort from the previous cycle at the eighth grade in the next cycle.
  • Gather important information about home and school contexts for teaching and learning in relation to students’ achievement in mathematics and science.
  • Compare education systems worldwide in terms of their organization, curricula, instructional resources, and practices related to their students’ achievement, thus allowing them to learn from the experiences of others in designing effective education policy
  • Enable countries to gain a more holistic understanding of educational outcomes by participating in both TIMSS and IEA’s International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS) at the same time.
Assessment domain(s)
  • Mathematics
  • Science
Study framework (summary)

The mathematics and science curriculum (overarching concept)

  • As intended to be taught—intended curriculum
  • As implemented in the classroom—implemented curriculum
  • As learned by students—attained curriculum


The mathematics assessment framework

Grade 4

  • Content domains
    • Number
    • Measurement and Geometry
    • Data
  • Cognitive domains
    • Knowing
    • Applying
    • Reasoning

Grade 8 

  • Content domains
    • Number
    • Algebra
    • Geometry and Measurement
    • Data and Probability
  • Cognitive domains
    • Knowing
    • Applying
    • Reasoning


The science assessment framework

Grade 4

  • Content domains
    • Life science
    • Physical science
    • Earth science
  • Cognitive domains
    • Knowing
    • Applying
    • Reasoning

Grade 8

  • Content domains
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Earth science
  • Cognitive domains
    • Knowing
    • Applying
    • Reasoning

Grade 4 and 8

Science practices (assessed in the context of the science content domains and by drawing upon the range of thinking processes specified in the cognitive domains).


The contextual framework

  • Home contexts
    • Home environment support
    • Early learning experiences
    • The COVID-19 pandemic
    • Parenting practices related to the environment
  • School contexts
    • School characteristics
    • Composition of the student body
    • School Resources
    • School Climate
    • School Discipline, safety, and bullying
    • Principal Preparation and Years of Experience
    • The COVID-19 pandemic
    • School policies and practices related to the environment
  • Classroom contexts
    • Teacher characteristics
    • Mathematics and science instruction
    • Information technology in the classroom
    • Classroom climate
    • Teaching practices and teachers’ attitudes and competence related to the environment
  • Student attributes
    • Student demographics
    • Attitudes toward mathematics and science
    • Information technology and digital devices
    • Students’ environmental attitudes and their environmentally responsible behaviors
  • National contexts
    • Organization of education system
    • Mathematics and science curricula
Participating entities


Confirmed participation (as of July 2022): 66 countries, 6 benchmarking participants



Confirmed participating countries (July 2022): Albania, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium (Flemish), Belgium (French), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, England, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hong Kong (SAR), Hungary, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea (Republic of), Kosovo, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Macao (SAR), Malaysia, Malta, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Northern Ireland, Norway, Oman, Palestinian National Authority, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uzbekistan

Confirmed participating benchmarking entities (July 2022): Ontario (Canada), Quebec (Canada), Dubai, (UAE), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Sharjah (UAE), Kurdistan (Iraq)


Target population and sample (summary)

Target population (students)

All students enrolled in the grades representing 4 and 8 years of formal schooling respectively, counting from the first year of ISCED Level 1.


Sample (students)

Forthcoming during data collection in 2023

Data collection techniques and instruments (summary)

Large-scale assessments of student achievement

  • TIMSS 2023 completes the transition to a fully digital assessment
    • Available in Grade 4 and Grade 8
      • Mathematics and science, Grade 4: 14 booklets
      • Mathematics and science, Grade 8: 14 booklets
    • Group adaptive design
      • Available in digital format only
      • Three levels of item block difficulty (difficult, medium, and easy) combined into two levels of booklet difficulty (i.e., each student being assigned a block of easy and a block of medium items, or a block of medium and a block of difficult items)
      • Each country administering the entire assessment with the balance of more difficult and less difficult booklets varying with the mathematics and science achievement level of the students in the country.


  • paperTIMSS
    • Administered in a small number of countries for whom the fully digital TIMSS may not be logistically feasible
    • Regular paperTIMSS
      • Includes only the secured trend items from the TIMSS 2019 paper assessment (and will provide only overall mathematics and science achievement results)
      • Available in the two grades
        • Mathematics and science, Grade 4: 8 booklets
        • Mathematics and science, Grade 8: 8 booklets
    • Less difficult paperTIMSS
      • Includes only the secured trend items from the TIMSS 2019 fourth grade less difficult mathematics assessment
      • Mathematics, Grade 4: 8 booklets


  • TIMSS uses a matrix sampling approach that involves packaging the entire assessment pool of mathematics and science items at each grade level into a set of student achievement booklets, or virtual eBooklets (“booklets” for short) in the digital version.
  • For the first time, TIMSS 2023 is offering a longitudinal option in which the same students that participate in TIMSS 2023 can take the same assessment one year later. This optional extension will provide a more granular look at education progress over the course of one year.


Background questionnaires

  • Student questionnaire
  • Teacher questionnaire
  • School questionnaire
  • Early Learning Survey (also called the “home questionnaire”), grade 4 only
  • Curriculum questionnaire (completed by National Research Coordinators)


Descriptive encyclopedia chapters

Each country and benchmarking participant prepares a chapter describing the structure of the country’s education system, the mathematics and science curricula in the primary and secondary grades, the teacher education requirements, the types of examinations and assessments employed, policies associated with their mathematics and science curricula, school organizational approaches, and instructional practices.




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