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 2015, TIMSS in Ireland was conducted in a nationally representative sample of 149 randomly-selected primary schools.  In smaller schools, all Fourth class pupils took part.  In schools with three or more Fourth class groups, two of the classes were randomly selected (by the ERC) to participate.

Testing took place between April 14th and May 1st, 2015.  Each pupil was asked to complete a test booklet containing maths and science questions.

Following completion of the test (and a break), pupils were given a short Pupil Questionnaire which asked 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 were asked to complete a Teacher Questionnaire, and the school principal received a School Questionnaire.  Parents of participating pupils were asked to complete a short Home Questionnaire about themselves and their child.

The initial results of the assessment were published on November 29th, 2016, with further reporting to follow in 2017.

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 2011, 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.