TIMMS 2015 Results – not a pretty story

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Australian performances in mathematics and science have stagnated over the past 20 years

The latest TIMSS results were released by ACER late on Tuesday evening. They do not present a pretty story for Australia. TIMSS stands for Trends in International Mathematics and Science. The tests were given in Australia in 2014 to Year 4 and Year 8 students. More than 60 countries participate in this test with 630 000 students. In Australia more than 16 000 students were tested from 572 schools.

There was no real improvement in the performance of Australian students.

YEAR 4

  • We were 22nd in Y4 Mathematics.
  • 30% of our Y4 students did not achieve the TIMSS Intermediate international benchmark.
  • Only 9% of our Y4 students achieved the Advanced international benchmark.
  • For the first time in 20 years our Y4 boys scored higher than our Y4 girls.
  • NSW, Qld, SA, WA and Tas students all achieved a higher score than in 1995.
  • There has been little change in the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous students.
  • Stdents in metropolitan areas scored higher than students in country areas.
  • Country area students achieved higher than students in remote areas.

YEAR 8

  • We were 13th in Year 8 Mathematics.
  • 36% of our Y8 students did not achieve the TIMSS Intermediate international benchmark.
  • Only 7% of our Y8 students achieved the Advanced international benchmark.
  • There was no significant difference between the scores of boys and girls.

So how do these results compare with some of the other participating countries?

  • Hungary, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Kazakhstan, England, Portugal, Cyprus and Slovenia all improved their Year 4 results in 2015.
  • 50% of Singapore’s Y4 students achieved the Advanced international benchmark.
  • England, the USA, Slovenia, the Russian Federation, Ireland, Kazakhstan and Sweden all improved their results.
  • Only 6% of Singapore’s Y8 students did not achieve the TIMSS Intermediate international benchmark.
  • 54% of  Singapore’s Y8 students achieved the Advanced international benchmark.