Assessment Frameworks for TIMSS 2023

Assessment frameworks are designed to identify what should be assessed by a test, and how it should be assessed.

The TIMSS Assessment Framework is built around two dimensions: content domains and cognitive domains, for both mathematics and science. Content domains deal with a particular subject matter, while cognitive domains refer to the type of thinking required for pupils to fully answer a question.

For mathematics, the content domains being assessed are:

Fourth Grade (Fourth Class):

  • Number
  • Measurement and Geometry
  • Data

Eighth Grade (Second Year):

  • Number
  • Algebra
  • Geometry and Measurement
  • Data and Probability

For science, the content domains being assessed are:

Fourth Grade (Fourth Class):

  • Life Science
  • Physical Science
  • Earth Science

Eighth Grade (Second Year):

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Earth Science

For both mathematics and science at both Fourth Grade and Eighth Grade, the same cognitive domains are assessed:

  • Knowing
  • Applying
  • Reasoning

TIMSS 2023 improves on previous cycles by including longer, scenario-based Problem Solving and Inquiry Tasks (PSIs) in the mathematics and science assessments. These encourage critical thinking skills which are required to solve real-world problems in mathematics and science.

TIMSS 2023 also assesses a range of science practices primarily using these PSIs. Science practices include asking questions based on observations and theories, and designing investigations and generating evidence, among others. These practices are fundamental to all science disciplines, and they incorporate skills from daily life and school studies that pupils use in a systematic way to conduct scientific inquiry.

The assessment frameworks also provide a basis for the contextual information gathered from other sources, such as the questionnaires completed by pupils, their parents, teachers and school principals.

The full frameworks for mathematics and science can be accessed here: https://timssandpirls.bc.edu/timss2023/#