TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study)

TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) is a project of the International Association for the ‎Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), and is managed at an international level by the ‎International Study Center in Boston College.  Within each participating country, a National ‎Research Centre manages the study.  In Ireland, this role is filled by the Educational ‎Research Centre.  The Centre is supported in this work by a National Advisory Committee, ‎chaired by the Department of Education, and with representatives from the main ‎education stakeholders.

TIMSS assesses the ‎mathematics and science achievement of pupils in the Fourth and/or Eighth grades ‎‎(equivalent to Fourth Class and Second Year in Ireland). First conducted in 1995, TIMSS ‎takes place every four years. Ireland has participated on four previous occasions – in 2011 (at primary level only), and in 1995, 2015, and 2019 (at both primary and post-primary levels).

TIMSS 2019 was the first cycle of the study to offer the assessment on a digital platform. Half of countries that participated in TIMSS 2019 opted to deliver the assessment digitally while the other half, including Ireland, administered the paper-based version of the assessment. The 2023 cycle of TIMSS marked Ireland’s transition to computer-based assessment.

A major purpose of TIMSS is to provide background information that can be used to ‎improve teaching and learning.  The study collects detailed information about ‎curriculum and curriculum implementation, instructional practices, and school resources. The ‎assessment is based on comprehensive assessment frameworks developed collaboratively ‎with the participating countries.  These frameworks specify the knowledge, skills, ‎and understandings to be assessed.‎‎

Results from the TIMSS 2023 will be published in late 2024.