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.