Fourth Class

Ireland is one of over 65 countries participating in TIMSS 2023. The 2023 cycle of will mark the transition to digital assessment, which began with TIMSS 2019, reflecting the widespread use of technology in schools and society.

In March/April 2022, the TIMSS Field Trial will be carried out in a nationally representative sample of 40 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 next TIMSS Main Study which will be carried out in spring 2023.

In smaller schools that are selected to participate, 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.

Pupils participating in TIMSS are asked to complete a computer-based maths and science test. The TIMSS 2023 assessments will include new and engaging item formats and interactive features and that motivate students and capitalise on the digital environment. Following completion of the test (and a break), pupils are given a short Pupil Questionnaire which asks some questions about 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 invited 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.

Examples of TIMSS test content

For some examples of the type of maths and science questions that were used in previous TIMSS Fourth grade (Fourth Class) assessments have been made available to the public.

  • Sample content from TIMSS 2019 Fourth grade (Fourth Class) assessment please click here.
  • Sample content from TIMSS 2015 Fourth grade (Fourth Class) assessment please click here.

More Information

  • If you would like more information about TIMSS in Ireland, please click here.
  • To see the TIMSS summary flyer and infographic for Fourth Class, click here.
  • To see the initial results of the 2019 assessment, click here.
  • To see the results of the 2015 study or findings from TIMSS 2019, please see our Publications page.

Finally, more information on TIMSS internationally can be found at