Fourth Class

Ireland is one of 47 countries that participated in TIMSS at Fourth grade (Fourth class) in 2015. Ireland also participated at Fourth class, but not at Second Year, the last time TIMSS was held in 2011.

In Spring 2018 ‎(field trial) and Spring 2019 (main study)‎, TIMSS ‎2019 will be carried out in Ireland in a nationally representative sample of randomly-selected primary schools. The purpose of the field trial is to try out new test and questionnaire material in all ‎participating countries in advance of the main data collection.

In smaller schools, all Fourth class pupils are asked to take part in the assessment. In schools with three or more Fourth class groups, two of the classes are randomly selected (by the ERC) to participate.

Each pupil is asked to complete a test booklet containing maths and science questions.

Following completion of the test (and a break), pupils are given a short Pupil Questionnaire which asks some questions about the pupil, what they think about school, and, in particular, what they think about maths and science.  Information such as this is valuable in interpreting the results of the assessment, and in providing a snapshot of pupils’ views on their educational experience.

TIMSS also aims to gather useful information from other sources in order to build up a better picture of the Irish education system.  Therefore, teachers of selected classes are asked to complete a Teacher Questionnaire, and the school principal receives a School Questionnaire.  Parents of participating pupils are asked to complete a short Home Questionnaire about themselves and their child.

The initial results of TIMSS 2015 were published on November 29th, 2016, with further reporting to follow.

More Information

  • If you have been asked to take part in TIMSS and would like more information about what’s involved, please click here.
  • To see the initial results of the 2015 assessment, click here.
  • To see the results of the 2011 study, please see our Publications page.
  • To see some of the real test items that were used in the Fourth class assessment in 2015, click on the following links.  They show the percentage of Irish pupils answering each question correctly, and the international average percent correct.  For some questions, where pupils were asked to write an answer, examples are included of correct written responses.